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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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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Note to Self

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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.

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