I remember those places I visited as a child through words I do not know. I miss my first home in the flowers that I never learnt to name. Those white petals that had bright orange stems, resembled jasmines, were strewn about the road. I know the way they smelt, and I know how they left wet patches on the soil when crushed by our car tires leaving.
Can we build ourselves a trail
Of plump clementines
Pick them up from the soil,
And eat with slippery hands,
As we walk until the sky
Has drunk the sunlight,
Tell me all the tales,
You couldn’t last time.
Yes, I look at the autumnal orange of the sky
Try to capture and recapture last evening’s purple on this day,
But when I stand at this hilltop,
Sapphire rooftops kissing the waking moon,
There is nothing more magical than blue.
Can we please talk about
the slow stillness of time, the quiet of the sound of my breathing. When I pick and unpick the broken glass, sweep aside shards that remain of nesting dolls, fit with patient fingers, torn photos in old frames, and wipe then the water from the fallen vase, lilies trampled upon, eaten by the soles of my boots
The mantelpiece is now a sporadic star lying shattered by my feet.
What of the humbling of my anger, who like a tired child has fallen asleep in a corner of the street after a fruitless riot, the snowflake that had balleted in grace, toes bleeding through silk shoes, that rests now on the warm ground? Let us write with beauty of inconsistencies, when I remade my home after knocking it down with one swift brush, romanticise my anger as you do my love.
I come back from work, worn out and spent. Each night, I wake up mid-sleep, as if I had never gone to bed.
I walk to the kitchen and start pulling out cans and jars. My eyes don’t even have to see where my hands are going anymore, I remember what bottle lies on which stack just as I know the alphabet.
I follow your recipe to the dot.
The same amount of flour, a cup full of sugar, little chips of chocolate hidden amidst the dough like gems in sand.
But I could never bake them like you did. So by the time I finish, the house starts to feel very empty again, without you and your sweet-smelling cookie dough.
Some mornings I wake up only for you.
Thank you for embracing me without hurting my bones. For keeping the refrigerator stocked, filled to the brim with eggs.
For letting me walk you down the altar, weak and frail.
For forgoing not one, but two childhoods, yours and Susan’s, in my care.
I know living with me and my cancer is difficult, but thank you for never complaining about this untimely guest.
I will love you in life and in death, and I will try, for as long as possible, to be your
She is like an ellipsis, do you understand?
Like an eternal string of lights that brightens the Christmas tree without end.
She is like a candy that does not melt, a fountain of beauty that does not exhaust, an undying day.
She is the soft rain of snow lingering in the air.
She is so endless that it is impossible to hold her.
And hence I do not have her, even though she is all around me.