– For the constellations and craters that call my face “Home”.
you litter my face like stardust
in conversations with the mirror
there you are, shining bright red
like you are signalling to the world
“come land here!”
but really, you’ve accomplished the opposite.
we have been through a lot together,
like that time you showed up on my nose
on the day of our class photo
you were always there for me
in spite of the Hiruscar and Proactiv
in spite of the face scrubs
and Shiseido sheet masks
you were just always there, you stubborn trooper.
when you and menstruation came to dance
it was always so mesmerising
every sensual rake my nails brought across you
menstruation reminded us that
you will always be a part of me
nevermind the itching
nevermind the redness
nevermind the constant reminders from my mother to slather more chemicals on my face
you are the companion no one asked for
you are reason for every “You’d be so pretty if”
you are why every morning is a constant battle to feel beautiful
but jokes on you, acne,
because i am beautiful.
my reflection is not the enemy
and neither are you.
the enemy is within me-
and i have emerged victorious.
When you fall in love with a witch
Rose petals and quartz points,
Clasped hands and incantations,
Whispering spirits in a tiny bedroom
Wide enough for the entire world
And the universe with it.
I need nothing else.
Continue reading “No More Love Poems”
Performed at Spoke and Bird Open Mic, at the Artistry. Performance found here
Sec 2, pre-puberty. I was dressed in a cloak and cosplay, running around my school, asking kids if they would like to join the drama club. Alumnis, probably, older boys, definitely, surrounded my childish frame and asked if they could join the drama club with smug faces.
One boy put his arm around me, I am haunted by what his shirt had smelled of- Too much deodorant, too much danger. My first boyfriend would only be angry because they had touched his “girlfriend”, as if I belonged to him.
Continue reading “#MeToo – On Sexual Assault”
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.
Continue reading “A Pocket Full of Kueh”
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.
Continue reading “Dead To Me”
– Performed at the Mad Bad Sad Glad Love Poetry Slam, organised by Word Forward Singapore. My performance can be found on YouTube here.
Last night I deleted his number from my phone. I erased all traces of his existence from my gallery, cleaned out the remnants of memory still stuck between other relevant memories, like left over food caught in teeth.
Continue reading “Ghost Town”
Leave the poem writing to tomorrow, I whispered to my hands, for today is a good day. Today a breeze kissed my cheeks and folded away all the chores.
Leave the poetry to tomorrow, where happiness would waver, where things are harsher. Leave the poetry to the sad days. Leave the poetry in the hands of broken hearts.
On any other day the metaphors may strike the paper with veined anger and the poetry might shriek of the poet’s misfortune, on other days the tears may become ink, but today the words don’t bleed, today is kinder than yesterday and tomorrow is waiting to decide, a gentle coin-toss game in motion. The day is not over yet.
Leave the crying to tomorrow, I whisper to the sorrow. Leave the ink off the sheets, forget the feeling of anti-gravity and hold on to the rails, so that you may not float off into space. Hold on to the warmth of someone’s gentle words. Hold on.
Call him back. Mute the group. Walk until you can no longer drag your feet across the burning concrete, until the sun bids farewell. Today there is no rain, no clouds, no grief. Today is kind. Today, you are invincible.
Leave the poem-writing to tomorrow, I whisper to my hands, for today is a good day. Because poems are for the bitter days, not for days like today.
Today is kind. So leave the poem-writing for tomorrow.
Lying awake at 4.05 a.m.
I come to a very mundane conclusion
Of a fact that glared me in the face with too much conviction
And I can’t help but think that same thought over and over
Without really meaning to draw attention to the triviality of the matter
“Ah, I’m really lonely”
For once, I felt the weight of language sitting atop my tongue
Waiting for a scream.
Inspired by “Notebook Fragments” by Ocean Vuong
Older boys will kill you, mother said. I believed her.
Today I met an older boy. I’m terrified of the man I love, even though he’s the only one who believes me.
Close the door, daddy said. Turn off the lights, daddy said. You’re wasting electricity, daddy said. You’re wasting money, wasting water, wasting space, daddy said.
Listen to your dad, mommy said. You know you’re his jewel, his princess, right? Mommy said.
Note to self: The people who are killing you are also caring for you.
Continue reading “Note to Self”
She’s beautiful. She had always been beautiful. I wonder if she knew that.
I met a girl when I was 14, she had glass for eyes and a post-it smile. Every day I sat across from her in the canteen and watch her stomach turn over and over as her friends surrounded her with rejected love and support.
Continue reading “Poem For The Broken”