A Pocket Full of Kueh

Pictured above: My Father, who kept loving me when I forgot to love him.

Performed at the Foodrama Poetry Slam 2017, Organised by Word Forward, at Blu Jaz Cafè.

My dad never understood why I hated eating kueh. I spent 7 years forcing kuehs down my throat, long since learning that resistance was futile.

I used to run to my dad for a hug the moment he got home. My dad called me a little “Tau sah piah”, because those were my favourite words for a while.

I wonder what happened to those years. I haven’t eaten kueh in a long time.

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Dead To Me

Pictured: My Ball-Jointed doll, Mindy. 

Submitted on Day 26 of #SingPoWriMo2017

She shimmered under the moonlight, your fingertips brushed over her rivers and valleys, the dip and rise of her mountains, forests and hills. And you breathed hot air on her neck, straining yourself to fit your hands around all of her, trying to hold everything you wanted closer.

I like to think that she had died in your arms. It’s comforting, in a way, to know that she had disappeared together with my memory of you. I’d like to think of her self-destruction as the moment you took her into your arms.

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Leaving Me

leaving me.jpg

Close the door on your way out, the draft will get out. It’s cold in here, so leave for better shores. Don’t stay to catch the rain, don’t go to waste your days.

Have your jacket back, you’d need it to survive the burning sun, remnants of broken glass, tread carefully on a concrete road laid out by stone-cold love.

Remember red hair, remember to smile. Don’t remember the bathroom floor, or fogged-up mirrors. Don’t remember the dress. Don’t remember the end.

Remember her in Polaroid photos, forget the hours spent making plans alone. Forget her body, how the curves bent around you to fit all your edges, all your needs. Remember his name. Remember that she was him.

Take back the person you were before, soldier on even before you become one. Hope that the next one isn’t him. Isn’t me.

Do not hate him for loving me, hate me for leaving. Do not spend time wondering if it was you who is hurt when your hatred for him scorches me, when the sight of us cuts into you, when my flayed skin melts from the sight of you.

Ask if we are still together and when I say yes, ask if I’m happy. Realise that I’m perfectly content without you. Realise that I don’t need you.

Take off the jacket, it’s burning outside. Arrive at the wedding, prepared to leave. Notice a girl. Or a boy, it doesn’t matter. Notice she’s been staring at you for some time. Ask if she wants to dance.

Forget my name, at 4am in the morning, when you remember her face, her voice, the shrill sound of alarm clocks. Hold on tight.

It’s not easy the close the door behind you. It’s easier to be hidden in the closet, wishing to be the one hidden in the sheets. But it’s hard to be the one between the sheets, fully clothed, haunted by the closeted memory.

The exit is stage right. Remember to eat properly. Remember to rest well. Remember to close the door as you leave. Don’t look back.

Please just leave.

VI

vi

For the girl who loved him, and hated me for loving him.

His footsteps are earthquakes ringing in my ears,
And adrenaline runs higher and higher with every step.
There is a rush that comes with freedom, with anti-gravity,
One that only I can know.

And you, half-blind, scrawl curses into my name,
Wishing for something you cannot have,
For the thing I refuse to let go of,
Not to posess but to protect.

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Möbius Trip

Written on a bus on the way home, 3rd November.

1. It’s 8pm. I’ve been out since 3pm and so far I’ve sung my lungs out and stuffed my face with more Korean Barbecue than I ever thought I would ever consume in my lifetime.

2. You weren’t supposed to see me today, I think parting would’ve hurt less if you didn’t call me. But you wanted to be here on my birthday, even if it were only for a moment.

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How To Love Your Broken

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Do not let him tell you he’s weak. And when he does, tell him he’s wrong. Don’t let him believe the lies they’ve fed him, love all of the “girly” that sits in his body. Ask him if he would like to tell you how he feels and don’t pry.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can fix him. You can’t love away abuse, no matter how much you want to. When he asks give him your heart, do it, and tell him to hold it close on shaking nights, the hours where you can’t reach him. Don’t let him believe that you are the answer, because he’d be spectacularly mistaken. Direct him, instead, to a mirror, and ask him to search for the answers there.

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