(in)Visible

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Poem for the closeted

If you can only watch Pink Dot from behind closed doors,
Remember that there is always a room outside.

When you take your binder off at night,
Listen to the rumble of constellations in your skin
Where every burnt-out star wishes they could rework themselves
To wrap around you in a new shape, one that feels right.

If you must laugh at slurs in fear of repercussion,
Know that the world owes you safety, and they have failed you.

When you press powder into your pores at dawn,
Feel every molecule embrace who you have not become,
Where you have always been your loving reflection
As the vanity counter breathes “I love you” before you’re gone

When your Tinder matches feel empty,
When the cigarette smoke unclogs your tear ducts
When you feel claustrophobic in the dark confines of your closet,
When the words fall flat and you grow tired of explaining yourself, over and over again,

Know that the reflection in your mirror still thinks you are beautiful
And all the stars in the sky still shine just for you
And the world still owes you safety, but they have failed you.
And no matter where you stand, sit or lie,

There will always be room for you here.

Building Hope On Broken Things

– Written for SingPoWriMo, Day 5’s Prompt: The Speculated Fiction Prompt:

Imagine you open up and explain everything about your life today—your biggest fears, hopes, ambitions, habits, the technology– to someone who lived in the past (any time period before the year 2000– you decide!), and they went back in time and wrote a science fiction novel about you. They knew (know?) no one would believe it was fact, so they exaggerated and fictionalised some elements of it. You somehow find the novel and open it to a random page. This could be any page. You find a poem. Write that poem.

I wrote about an Immortal who fell in love with a Time Traveller.

1591, Berwick, Scotland
We met in an alley, I said I wanted to be something more
As you yawned on the stake, gone before you smoulder

1662, Port Royal, Jamaica
The soft leather of a necklace fell around my collarbones
And you lead me to the harbour, waiting for a storm

1781, Yorktown, A British Colony
You hand an empty gun to Alexander Hamilton, knowing,
And you tell me you will be waiting for me in

1890, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
I cleaned the sheets where Van Gogh once lay,
The old ones wrapped around a stolen painting of a hill, your eyes twinkle

1900, An Unknown Village, China
The screams are earth-shattering, and I say something about life, birth and death
You push me into a muddy field and we run before the farmer gets us

1966, San Francisco, America
Your arrival was marked by pointed laughter at my outfit, and I hand you a banner
I bring you up to speed while we march, and I watch you lose time

1999, National University Hospital, Singapore
We stand in the hall and listen to your mother’s screaming
This is your time, your beginning, your past and present. The next time I see you, it’s

3020, Who knows, Wherever
The walls gleam as I wake up from a New Year’s Eve Party
Your arms wrap around my waist and you say hello, and I say you found me.

1509, Berwick, Scotland
A witch cursed me to an eternity to count the stars in the sky,
You, with stranger eyes haunted by what will happen, has happened, took my small hands, and told me to meet you in