Self-Love

110.

Hush now, they say, I see someone in the store. Oh, it’s just a mannequin left unattended. Who cares, we’ll just put her back into the closet where she belongs. Wait, woah! Why is she lashing out? Perhaps she is a robot instead of a mannequin, but they’re all the same.

Women are walking catalogues, don’t feel personally harassed if eyes are watching every moment. If you are wearing white, you’re challenging the rain to make it translucent. Don’t wear skirts that are too short, you know people are waiting for that gust of wind to blow a little too strong. Walk in an alleyway if you dare, pray for it to be empty or else be prepared to be drugged. Girl, don’t be too friendly at the party or you’re flirting with trouble.

When people pinch your bra strap or steal your hair ties, let them get away. It’s a small matter, and as they always say, boys will be boys. Boys tease the girls they like. Feel the sting on the cheek and whisper that it’s okay, sometimes people get mad. The partner always buy roses the next day. Kiss and make up, no?

Keep your mouth shut, it’s not proper for a lady to speak unless they are spoken to. Did I ask you, asks an authority figure angrily. I don’t think, perhaps you will begin to say, but the Mad Hatter says, if you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk at all.

Pretty one, you should remain a flower on the wall. Walls can’t talk.

You play with gold glitter as a child, scrapbooks messy but grow up with pepper spray simply for wanting to go out alone to watch the midnight dance of a thousand stars. Sometimes it’s beside your pillow as you sleep, for even home is not the safe place you hoped for. Picked locks and rummaged belongings, does privacy even exist anymore. They say that being in a crowd will keep you from harm’s way, such as family reunions and shopping malls. But can you say no to that older relative who insists that you sit on their knee? There are hands that brush too close.

Yet, this is the cry of the lighthouse: (more…)

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79.

Paradoxical creature that I am, set on caring for the entire world yet hiding like a timid mouse in the corners of my complicated mind. What is one supposed to do when the heart can no longer handle such a massive amount of loving.

Teach me to stop running when the shadows loom frighteningly large, to accept the apparent favour of another. Please stop my ears from hearing what others cannot.

My eyes, they perceive meaning in things unmeant. Tile floors have shapes and house bricks display signs. As anxiety builds, sometimes the ground rushes up to meet me. And so I fall.

How is it that my ability to function varies so immensely?

70.

To be physical is not my demand, yet I will reach in myself a desire to reach out to you, if doing so will keep you safe. I will wrap my arms around in fierce affection, complete the space between fingers and pray my hardest to never let go.

There is a different pain, slow and terrifying, in watching the people you care suffer.

It has always been about you, is what you claim, that the wrongness of things persist. Never do you consider yourself a smile or a pocketful of bright, nor the velvet cool of a nocturnal’s shadow. Both have their strengths and beauty, but in yourself you are a stone drowning in a hidden pool.

The constant picking on sleeves and the hemline, how deep is the ache to tear them away. So many threads pulled taut, adjusted every moment or two. Strings weaved in order to purport a clever disguise. Patches of irrelevant cloth, threaded onto your back as temporary salves to save a facade failing.

You think, you truly think that you are pulling yourself together but I recognise that you are a sweater unravelling, and in time even my trembling figure can no longer support your breaking frame.

I am standing in front of you, in the same room with a heart screaming — yet all I can do in the end is watch your lungs choke on wool and inconsolable sorrow, and I am left behind with the mess of you.

64.

He is found in the midst of chaos and split silver. Cracked mirrors and loose shrapnel.

I can’t take it anymore, he mumbles brokenly.

Do you know, do you truly know what it’s like to be unseen? Alone in a crowd, or to face a reflection that will not see you in the eyes?

I am in a mental museum, full of the dead and the past, and I’m here beyond opening hours, trapped in a space that won’t let me go. Even if there are others here, they exist past the velvet rope that I cannot cross.

And in spite of it all, I am the joke, for I find myself like air — I’m afraid that I may disappear if someone does touch me.

If no one thinks of you at all, he painfully asks, do you truly exist?

The shadows breathe across the ruined floor.

People don’t remember the moon until it hides behind the clouds, she whispers softly. But I’ll have you know, that I always have been looking for the moon. You do to me what the moon does to the tide;

You draw me in.

(And even on days when I don’t see you, I know you’re there.)

54.

Will you continue to love me, even when I change beyond recognition? Even when I am no longer able to see who I am in the mirror?

Will you

When I’m the soulful and impossible ocean

A cerulean river, wild with excitement

The frozen pond, chipping away

A mere drop of water

Will you

Even when I lose myself in the atmosphere?

When my atoms have disintegrated in this space and I can no longer pick myself up

Will you still see who I am?

50.

Boy, you already know that you are a work of art.

Even with eyes blanketed in darkness, I can draw the contours of your face.

You are given to indecision, the way you would redo the smallest details over and over again. Some days it’s the hue, some days it’s the bold streaks you can’t seem to perfect.

There’s no start over, and so you make do. Every day a little fidget, a spot and blob. Until both the beginning and the end gets lost in the arms of each other.

I could see it then, your hesitancy, even with the arm outstretched as you said hello on our first day.

Boy, I hope that one day you’ll decide for yourself that it’s finally okay to let this canvas be, no need for any more vertical knife cuts into your papery skin.

It’s about time that you let this painting dry for a little while.