opal eyes

She always sat on the same swing, and no matter the weather or the day, he always found her there. Mostly still, hands wrapped tightly around the two chains like pillars and guardians by her side. When she swung in the air, the few rare times she did, her grasp would slightly loosen- and he often thought about how easily he could push her off. Did he plan on pushing her off? No, of course. Never. But it was simply a thought, in the myriads he had about the thousands of opportunities presented before him. He often thought of meeting her, but once again, it played out all in his head: as either a simple, “Hello, I’m Tom.” to “Hello, you baffle me everytime I pass this playground to go for work. I’ve thought of the many times I could introduce myself, and I guess this is it.” He never actually even dared to see her face. All he had to do was walk in front of the playground and not behind, but he was scared that too would ruin the moment, her moment. With her spine gorgeously upright, wood-colored hair tickling the swing seat, muscles tense, she seemed deeply engrossed or entranced by something. What was she staring at? Or was she inside the realms of her mind, just like him. So her, and the thought of who she might be and could mean to him always hummed like a bee in his head, disrupting the music coming from his earphones. At 9:20am, as he made his way to the office, he would witness the epitome of beauty. It was a moment in which he found he was most human. He was a simple human, searching for the beauty in life. And somehow, it had always presented itself to him in her form.

She always wondered who the footsteps belonged to. Everyday, when the sun took up a particular spot in the couch of the sky, a particular set of shoes would hit the ground. How could she tell?

She was blind.

She saw in different ways: the feeling of transparent heat tiptoeing from her lap to her arms, would tell her the whereabouts of the sun and whether noon had striked yet. She could pick up the movement and crunching of gravel and estimate the shoe size and heaviness of a person too. So just as she picked up all kinds of patterns in her life, she picked up this one.

It was a slower stride, the gravel moved languidly under the heavy soles. It was a man, she concluded, after the first 3 times of his passing. Sunlight would heat up her fingertips and that was the signal. Scrunch scrunch scrunch. Then there would be a pause. He was probably looking her way. She never turned around though, for she wanted to keep him spellbound, to keep her assumed beauty intact. Refusing to wear sunglasses, her blind eyes remained wide open, like two big milky opals dominating her face. They took all the attention away from her praised facial features, thus, ruining her to-be witchcraft on men.

And both of them went on like this, her hair melting down her spine, merging with tufts of silky clouds in the sky. Him, like a hungry beggar, following behind, yet never getting too close. Both too scared human touch and voice would interrupt the sacredness of the moment. Both never realising they had become each other’s highlight of the day, each other’s break-for-a-second, where breaths felt fresher and life, brighter.

She only ever heard him, and he only ever saw the idea of her beauty.

“Nothing gold can last.”

One day, when fall was undressing into winter, it got too cold and she decided to walk back to grab a coat. Picking the stick lying on the floor, she turned around a minute too early, for the sun didn’t shine that day. He was passing by, as usual. Both were slightly too slow to realise what was happening until a small gasp crossed the air between them. Tom pondered upon those eyes, then regained his footing and walked past her. He walked away, towards his office, and towards finding another source of beauty.

The next day, she didn’t sit on the swing, neither did he walk past it. And neither the day after that, or ever, in fact.

Like humans do, he moved on to the next spark and she moved on with life as if there had never been any interruption.

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acid & tender.

tender airplane

lamps,

stretching

arms

grasping seemingly for

something,

yet nothing.

 

acid like my

reflection.

5 lamps stuck to

each side of the mirror

so I can better

hunch into furrows

I’ve dug in my

dreams

of you.

 

Acid like covering

your ears

when flushing,

in that tiny

gasoline

toilet

cubicle.

 

All this trudging

of feet to find

a recognisable head,

TV screen,

“oh that’s my seat?”

 

in tampering darkness.

 

Acid spreading like this

cycle treading

takes over my

migraines-

soon I realise

 

it’s all tenderness

compared to my thought

of you. Whispers

of you

even on this modern,

apathetic,

emotionless

plane.

(yet you still creep in)

 

3 movies, 6 hours.

Inevitably, like a

prisoner paralysed

by their own

choices

watching

pixelated lovers

circling other lovers:

I’m wearing coloured

lenses, filtering

all these loves with

past versions

of you and more

of you.

 

I wish it could all stop

because it’s blinding

me from the true

experience of

a simple,

tender,

airplane ride.

 

They distribute

perfectly marvellously, moist

lukewarm towels.

Distracted only for

a few flying

fleeting seconds

before heat scampers

into frigidness.

 

i think i just

miss your heat to the

point where it’s

neither

tender

nor

acid?

 

so before landing

i’ll let my acid love

spread up my legs

 

(i really don’t know

how you find tenderness in it,

darling)

.

Munich, time to turn

the hour hand back.

 

let the wound open

yesterday

was worst than

a blizzard

but it

cracked open

a pill i didn’t

know i had gulped

down

and so it gushed

open like

a wound

and i realised

i was out of plasters

 

 

and i scrambled

for tape or

cloth or anything

that could stop

this bleeding

of

accusations

inflations of

future

deflations

revelations

probations (mostly)

 

 

and so i tried

running-

skin against

wisps of wind

and rain

hoping that snake

bite would get

caught between

my huffs and

puffs

and melt away

 

 

but instead

it spread like acid

like inadequacy diluted

with who i want to be

and this whole

time I’m asking

why i’m not who

i want to be

and why i still

can’t talk the right

perfect way

and why everything is

not yet quite perfect

so the mind goes

on a merry-go round

and these thoughts

bleed

spew out

laugh

spit in my face

 

 

i’ll keep

spitting blood

i’ll keep breaking

the veins in my nose

so all i smell is iron

and rust

 

 

finally i give up

on bandaids and

running and let

the wound open

this time i’m holding

a magnifying glass

not a gun

i’m not ready to

fight or

fly

may you be

may you be

chartreuse liqueur

makes a small den

in the space between us,

wrapping itself up

into a small cocoon

to then slowly have itself

unravel

by my hands-

your hands

 

so as we unravel

and as it unravels

i find myself pinpointing,

us, on a great big

map

dotted lines suggest

where we were

where we’ve been

and it’s one long winding

road, tainted by the same

chartreuse lamps

 

sitting between the

rocks and your legs,

humming

 

too often i find myself

realising

the traced pencil marks

(on the map)

of places we could go

maybe on bike

or car or train

maybe with money or without

maybe the trip

is all in our mind.

so it’s all maybe there

or somewhere else

maybe i would like that

maybe not really

 

my limbs, tangled between

“may” and “be”

and i look up,

back to you,

and start thinking

 

you’re may,

you’re newborn summer

fresh and dirty

full of bee’s buzzing

and may you be

my

emerald birthstone or

simply the sudden rainfalls

you’ll still be buzzing with

that life that reminds me of

may. reminds me

of the day i was born

so i can be born over and

over again everytime

we sit side by side,

small little bee

in may,

you remind me of –

 

may you be

that

or something

else,

or

maybe,

just let me

envelope you.

 

maybe i love how you’re

maybe this or maybe that

remain undefineable

i find that entrancing-

to put it bluntly-

 

(and to put it more bluntly,

every time you’re here,

you surprise me with something

new,

 

a new way of seeing:

like im wearing glasses for the first

time

over and over

again)

infinite tenderness

Being reunited with your first childhood love is something that feels very sudden, out of place, yet completely in place: fitting like a puzzle piece into your life. Seeing her again is like closing my eyes on a rollercoaster and opening them again only when they tell you to take off your seatbelt: and you feel like you’ve missed out on this whole middle chunk and you wished you were there to see it (yet you also don’t), so you just get the end product delivered to you. No labels. No preamble. Just the person with a smile that has shifted slightly and eyes that have lost and gained hope for what seems like centuries. And you remember seeing her joyous and naïve and ignorant, her eyes wide open like gemstones begging for light, for life to hit them. But it’s still all there. And the whiff you smell when she passes you is always the same and you know that if you were to squeeze her all into one drop of essential precious oil, it would smell as strongly and beautifully as it did three years ago. She wears scars now, but she also wears the same golden nail polish, and this little curious quirk has popped up in her- and it drives me crazy: her curiosity for life. She’s sticking her tongue out to taste what it feels like to be alive. And I’ll always feel this infinite tenderness towards her.

evening waves

Evening waves,

tell the most beautiful of tales.

 

Electronic

grid-like fluctuations,

jittering trepidation:

 

waves,

 

lulling

each other out of and back to

incandescent

sleep.

 

Murky mercury

hiding under slick

silver.

These

glowing

pre-pubescent hills,

too scared to expand,

hence, retract,

push back.

 

Suddenly with a playful,

almost knowing

glint,

they change their mind,

and roll forwards,

loll their head back,

with hair that

sprinkles baritone

hums

down the ocean’s spine.

 

Hums of

an unrecognizable

tale;

just like the tide,

it spirals out of its

shell as rapidly as it

scurries back

behind a

wave’s swish

of a gown,

hiding their blooming

flourishing

cheeks:

 

ready to exhale

salty relief.

 

And if the tide

subsides

and if

the waves

turn sleepy,

eyelids folding over the shore

with what seems

like

infinite

patience,

 

then, humans lean

over. Look closer,

and in this miracle,

they see

featherlight depictions

of who they dream

to be:

sensual figures

skate alongside

waves,

ever morphing

ever merging,

becoming one.

 

For that second,

life seems a bit more

mystical.

capsize

I can’t muster up,

roll up,

a compendium of courage

just enough

to balance onto this string,

so i’m always on

tiptoes,

either grappling for gravity

or

floating (so high I can’t feel my fingers)

 

teach me these few

things, how not to:

clip fingernails to

split knives, then try to trace my face

or smash teacups

because the house has

ceased to whisper (i can’t stand silence)

or scorch the tips of pencils

when words stay hanging below my throat,

limply,

refusing to move any

farther onto paper

 

sometimes,

if my mind eases on the accelerator,

i’ll make sure to

stand under a storm

and hope for lightning

i’ll have my hands full of

plasma coalesced into electricity

(so blue it could burn your eyes)

at least there’s this

effervescence,

i may say,

that I can dissect,

squint into,

pick and fiddle with

like an old toy

made out of unknown

mechanisms

 

my life is a time bomb

and i’m running away from

the silence between each tick

tick

tick.

from feeling like

an empty hotel room with

undone beds.

don’t leave me vacant,

 

 

I’d rather capsize a boat

than have it float