For Vietnam, Anguilla, Barbuda, the Bahamas, etc. /78

You built your house hoping to 

build a life that could nestle 

inside it, safe from the storms

that the sea keeps throwing your

way, and you built your houses,

hoping to turn them into homes,

into places you could raise your

family, places you could grow

old, places you could exist safely, 

and now that very home has been

torn apart- the winds circled your

coasts like wolves surround their

prey, they reduced entire buildings

and livelihoods to rubble, took 

the electricity taken for granted

and reduced it to futile sparks-

but you’ll rebuild, this is not

the first time your country has

been lashed by stubborn storms,

and this will not be the last, but

each time, you will rebuild, your

will to survive will never turn to

ash, so as long as you’re alive,

you will fight. When there are no

houses to turn to, you will create

a home in yourself, in your 

community, in your strength that

remains- your buildings might 

shake, might fall, might be reduced

to mere debris, but you shall

remain standing, like you always 

have. Like you always will.

to clarify:/ 77


Instead, I am in love with the idea

of leaving you behind, with

the idea of living in a city, or

sleeping in a bed where I have 

never kissed you- I do not long

for your touch. Instead, I have

hot showers, hoping that 

the boiling water will burn away 

the trace of your hands, because

I am in love with the idea of 

forgetting. In love with the idea 

of moving on, of kissing a

different set of lips, I am in love

with the idea of forgetting who 

you are and maybe you won’t 

understand that. Maybe one day,

you will. But no matter what day

it is, no matter what time it is,

I am still not in love with you,

and I’m never going to be again.

heart on loan/ 76

Last December, I gave you my 

heart while we were sitting on 

swings in a resort in the middle 

of nowhere. Everyone else was 

celebrating life, the air was

vibrating with joy all around us,

but we just sat there. I was

thinking about how, no matter

how hard I try, I can’t always be 

the good person, and you- well

I don’t know what you were thinking

about, but I would like to imagine 

it was me- and so while we sat

there I gave you my heart on loan,

told you I would need it back 

eventually, told myself I would 

take it back sooner than later,

but it’s been 9 months and 

I guess I got around to this pretty

late, but I would like my heart 

back now. In the same condition

I gave it to you- it was a bit bruised,

but it was still alive. Still

thumping loudly, I could hear it

in your pocket as you walked away,

it was alive. Yes, I’ll admit, it 

could have been in better shape 

then, but I’ve never trusted anything

perfect- I like to pick the less

visually appealing item no matter

what I’m buying, and my heart 

was no different- it resembled

a collection of crushed strawberries

in a small glass jar, and I liked it 

that way. So give it back to me.

Give it back to me in the shape I

gave it to you, I don’t want the 

imprint of this year on it just yet,

don’t want to see it wither, don’t

want to see it go from strawberry 

to blackberry, so give me my 

goddamn heart back. I should have 

never let you have it in the 

first place, should’ve known you 

would be the kind of guy who

would lose it in his cupboard, lose

it under the pile of lies lying

on his bedroom floor, but

don’t worry, I’ve realised now. 

So last December, I gave you 

my heart, and this September,

I would like it back.