Potential

I want to talk to you, but for some reason, I no longer can. There’s something weary and tired about us. Something wounded. It makes me cling to you, and I can see it’s trying your patience. There are things unsaid now, things guarded. Self-care has created its defense, and we’re working hard to ignore it. I’m broken, and you know that. You’re scared I may think that the reason is us. But I think the true fear is in that I may be right. Because we start again from page one.

Can we not just try with each other once more, though? We already know so much. We’ve come so far with learning who the other person is. All for it to end in goodbyes. Our hellos had so much potential. To accept that maybe we have exhausted that potential. Maybe it never existed. 

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Inverted Guilt: My Pandemic Revelation

Ever since I was a child, I have dwelt more in the world of fiction than in the one before me. During the times that I do emerge, I feel restless. It is as though the definitions of real-life confuse me. As a reader, I am supposed to have read certain types of books, acquired and retained knowledge that I may have actually forgotten. I am either supposed to have a rebellious edge or compliant contentment. My opinions have to be strong and stubborn or they are deemed complacent or lacking. 

Where is the room to be human? For confusion or not knowing? 

“So you have read all the Potter books, did you like them? Oh, a fan then! So you must remember every dialogue and plot twist that took place in that world? Oh…so you didn’t like it then…” 

“Do you like rock music?”  “Huh! Just the one song? That doesn’t count then, really.” 

“What about politics then? Surely, you aren’t truly literate if you don’t understand, or at the very least, offer your fierce opinions on the matter! Of course, joining protests give you additional gold stars, especially when it helps cancel out that thickly buttered privilege of yours.”

It is this need for definitive characters, to convert our self-image into a brand that both inspires and defines success with aesthetic ease, that fuel today’s social media, and blurs into our everyday lives. This practice of ‘brand aesthetics’ is what nurtures our innate guilt for being alive. For we all have a store of ‘original guilt’ within us, stemming from our knowledge of the damage caused by our mere existence. More and more has this feeling become a collective thought, leading to a collective restlessness (In 2018, U.K launched more vegan products than any nation). We try to alleviate this by doing conscious good, trying not to do harm, or merely by shrouding ourselves in denial. Since none of that works, we then turn to channel this guilt into other rivers of thought. Thus spring the thoughts of productivity, accomplishments, success, and of building a brand aesthetic that fits within the image of a two-dimension character.   

The more we compress, the more we spill. The idea of finding oneself, or detangling ourselves from our social media account is then our attempt to detach from that brand aesthetic and revisit the artist that created it in the first place. Understand the guilt and know of its truth and origin. Equal and opposite reactions are law, and with guilt, the law dictates hope. 

As of this evening, I am both confused and in the unknown. The world around me mimics the novels I read, the dystopia feeling all too real. Thus stripped off our normalcy, the feeling of guilt is bare of its various diversions. Guilt is no longer focusing on my body fat, work ethics, lifestyle choices, relationship worries, or unacceptable personality traits.

Having always mourned the loss of our universe at our hands, we are now grieving our personal loss while our planet heals. Even as we grieve, we find the beauty in the little things, in the experience that is life. Because for once, we are not the ones doing the damage.  

It is at this paradox that our guilt inverts to meet hope. 

And despite the oddity, this makes sense to me.

Rest in Peace

is — was.

The first and toughest

change you can’t avoid.

Is

Is

Is


Was.








Waves of emotion

Tumbling, stumbling, stalling. 

Halt and rewind

Or tear a hole in time

To revive what’s rightfully yours

No one else’s.

Not the trees 

Not the rivers

Where go dust to dust 

And ashes to ashes.

What about the memories?

Now sheathed by the

Fierce quills of a porcupine’s coat

Memories with no one 

To say, “That’s not how it happened!”

Memories that are

Rightfully yours

Only yours. 

As you remember how it once 

Was.  

The Memories of Yesterday

Flashes and then some light
I see a lamp
I see a shard
the hint of a beard
A new face of yours.
And I look back to wonder
At our times
When we were us
And the love it had 
And the memories of our fights.
We grew it all out,
A stage of love puberty,
To find our own ways.
I found the paths you didn’t take
And there ventured hence,
I found your breaks
The ones you never got
And some that I never gave
I wonder what I would say to you
Did we ever meet
Maybe I would want to smile
Maybe we would still just hate
I don’t know for sure
Whether to ask for or to give
Forgiveness that has been long due.
So I shall wait for the day
When we bump into a moment
Of ours again
To find out what it contains
Hoping to be done away
And put it all in a box so pretty;
the memories of yesterday.

A Prisoner to Time

I look for a bottle, a small one.

After a lot of thought and quite some searching,

a pretty glass jar with a cork was found.

Tiny enough to fit in the palm of my hand, unseen

Delicate and strong, or fragile and young,

it depends on how you see it, really.

I go to the cabinet now – holding the secrets of life

in small tiny pills, some colourful and some white.

With all my raw materials, I shall now sit,

creating a potpourri of pills.

I soon hold the jar, transformed and full

Each tablet is unique and with purpose.

And as I finish my project, I’m calm, finally calm,

my anxieties kept busy and distracted.

It’s so easy to trick the human mind

into believing a future (the irony),

with our present actions.

I close my eyes and savour

The blank emptiness that could be mine

Before I get up and walk away,

Stepping on glass, still a prisoner to time.  

-the positivity of black

Body Memory

I fight through the amnesia, 

my body trying to remember 

the touch of passion on its skin

that would spread a flame, lightning fast.

Fast…

Fast.

Fast.

It reminds me of rough.

Fast and rough, 

So familiar a tone from the past,

Almost like a favourite song that I forgot.

The kind that you listen to so often,

you almost hate it now.

And yet, that soft corner;

I hum along.

Scars last longer than hickeys, after all.

Fists clenched, 

Halfway between a roar and a sigh,

I fall back once again.

Unable to remember what it feels like 

to make love tender.

Out of grasp, it’s a crumbling memory

with my hands only drawing blood. 

-the positivity of black

A Pinch of Courage & A Shard of Reality

His collar was upturned at the corner, and he turned towards the sunrise over the shadows of buildings and forgotten grounds seen from the balcony, the smoke escaping through his slightly open mouth. His hair looked like he got out of bed, goofy, though, not Mills and Boons style or anything.

As he spoke about how the scars of our society crumble every shade of utopian idea of humanity, I flew. We spoke one language – the stories of dreamers and maybe naive beliefs of the ‘humane’ side of our nature. Even knowing that the situation may indeed be hopelessly bigger than us – we stuck on. Mainly also because we were high. Yeah, that could be it. It didn’t matter. What people thought didn’t matter. If I got branded, it didn’t matter. Weed gave me hope. It gave me hope for life. For something bigger than my own life and more about the meaning of the large-sized word ‘life.’

It also made me forget the world, though, which was peaceful. More peaceful than anything my normal self would allow. I am not a calm person. I am never calm; always nervous, fidgety, and worrying too much about things that everyone says matter and also don’t matter. I am a tired person who doesn’t get past her own self-critical doubts to address others. I am someone who is badly bruised and only wishes to lick her wounds with love for the rest of her life. So basically, I am a little insignificant in terms of the world.

When I am high, though, I find that love that I need to heal, and I find it within myself. It is that rare moment when my self-love is enough to boost my pride and confidence. I am solid. I exist, and I take my irreplaceable place in this world. All of this is because, for a few hours, my mind is quiet. Not empty, but quiet. And the peace is like a river, bringing with it all that positivity that I keep blocked out like a dam. Of course, this is always mixed in with a tinge of detachment. It wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

That detachment is opaque, floating in and out. I watch the love scenes from Vampire Diaries – the intensity we dreamed of as starry-eyed 16-year-olds. I see a friend talking about her love with confidence, and even more enchanting are her stories of lust – of equal balance between the two – and I wonder. I see my own sister, living my starry-eyed dream – the same age I used to be. And those moments pierce through my cover. They pinch like a reminder to wake me up from my dream and understand that such love may always be a fantasy for me. Because love involves two people, and it seems so does dreaming.

I turn to him, still talking to me while I had apparently nodded at the appropriate times, and I smile. This boy I could dream with occasionally when I needed a dose. Before I go back to the love of my life – carrying the hope that someday things will be different. We will find that bruise and look it in the eye – with the courage to face it together.

-the positivity of black