death is not a song/ 91

Death is not a song.
There is no orchestra,
no crescendo,
no post production magic
to fix your wrinkles,
or cover up the blood,
there is no harmony.
Death is not a dance.
There is no grace
in finding your
father face down,
no flowing movements
when you load a body
into an ambulance;
hands lie on the side
like they’re made of cloth,
they droop and do not flutter.
There is no coordination.
Death is not an art.
You cannot cover up
the stench of a dead body,
cannot mask the severed head,
the bullet wounds;
You cannot move on
to another exhibition, to
another performance,
because no matter where you go,
the starring role will
always be played by your grief,
and the number of supporting
characters will rise every time you
go to the hospital- until you
have an auditorium full of
memories you did not get to
live, because everyone was
dead before you knew it.
Death is not an art,
it’s just science.
Just an end with an explanation
for your mind but
not one for your heart;
whether it’s your muscles seizing,
or your lungs failing,
at the end of the day,
death is still not beautiful,
even if you tried your hardest
to convince yourself it was.


better than this/89

They tell you to shut up.
They tell you to sit down, to
do their bidding, they tell
you to twist your soul until
it fits into their cookie cutter
perception of the world, they
tell you you’re worthless- beat
you until you can’t help but cower,
shame you into silence until
you’ve forgotten how to speak,
hurt you until there’s nothing left
but a hollow shell- they tell you
you’re worthless. That you’re
not good enough, that you never
will be, but does it matter?
You’re the flickering fire, the
shimmering night sky, you’re the
echo of a thousand voices, the
highlight of someone’s day, you’re
you, and that’s more than they’ll
ever be, more than they ever can,
so the next time they try to
silence you, the next time they
try to dim your light, look at them.
Look at their faces, look at their
sunken eyes and smile.
You will always be better than this.


I want to thank my imperfections.
I used to see you as flaws, but
I’ve learnt that every blemish,
every scar, every astray hair
makes me who I am. Thank you
for making me look at myself
and see a distinct person, not
a copy. Thank you for showing me
that beauty, beauty is not about
being perfect. It’s about being me.

River pt. 2/ 85

You are not a river. 

You don’t trickle down softly, 

you don’t sit still and look pretty, no,

you are the tide. 

You are the ocean and I,

I am the beach, ready to receive 

you with open arms, you are fierce.

You are not whipped cream, nor

a piece of cake, no, you are fire,

opinionated and strong, you are

smart, compassionate and kind,

you don’t just flow. 

You don’t just exist. 

You are more, more than a river,

more that a singular entity,

Beverywhere you go, you will

light up someone’s life, because

you, you are the universe. 

The thunder and the lighting, 

The birch tree, the city streets, 

you are everything, a trench, 

a star, a happy coincidence- yes, 

you are the universe. 

My universe.

Muse Striketh Back pt. 2/ 84

See, I never really understood you.

I loved you like a distant thing,

like a constant thing, like

something that would figure

itself out, so I guess I shouldn’t

be surprised that this decision

doesn’t make any sense.

I wish I could say I’m angry, and

I am, but more than that I’m torn.

More than that I feel like

everything I wished for is

slipping through my fingers, and

everything I hoped for is leaving;

More than that I just don’t

understand what changed.

I don’t understand where the

silence turned uncomfortable,

where the quirks became extra

work, where your life diverged

from mine so far that you

decided I wasn’t worth it.

I guess I’m a bit angry, I mean,

don’t I deserve an explanation?

Don’t I deserve something more

than this, I mean, couldn’t you

have done this any other way?

Any other place? Any other time?

Did you really need to leave so

abruptly? Did you really need to

leave at all?

reminder/ 83

Before it begins, hear me out:

I am not the sun, or the stars.

I am not the girl who stands out

in a room full of strangers, I am

not the girl who you’ll gravitate

towards- my magnetic field

doesn’t attract much- I am not

the girl that people orbit. But,

but I have never wanted to be,

I have always known I can’t

conquer the world, so i instead

tried to illuminate the small corner

I call home. I have always known

I’m not good at much, so I tried

to find something I could call

my own, and I found it, nestled

between two books in a shelf in

my grandmother’s room, I found it

waiting for someone to grab

and cherish it, and now that I found

it, now that I found myself,

I don’t need your validation.

I don’t need your badge, your

placebo recognition- nothing you

give me will change my life.

I chart my own route, and I’ll

survive without you. I always have.

I always will.

new girl/ 82

I’m not the same girl I used to be. 

I’m no longer the butter, melting

on command, no longer the 

sweet lullaby, the rain, the moon,

the stars, the cliche- I’m no longer

the girl I used to be.

I used to shrink, used to wrap my

thoughts in cling film, used to 

deep frost my bravery, used to

cut away the parts of me

that I thought were too harsh. 

too loud. Too unabashedly myself.

I used to use you as an excuse,

used to look for love in every 

crevice I could- other people 

were rooms for me to ransack,

I stripped them bare looking 

for things I could only find

in myself, and I asked them to

define me- the quiet girl, the reader,

the slut, the drinker, the debater,

the smart one, the dumb one,

the lost one.

Labels were slapped on me

with the casual callousness 

youth displays, and I let them be-

I used to be malleable. 

I was the clay, waiting to be

moulded, the water, flowing freely

in a stream, the sun, cutting 

an arc across the sky- I used 

to be nothing. 

I used to be everything. 

And now, now I am the blade,

a scythe in the night, the fierce 

roar of a wild animal, I am the

ruler of my own planet. The sun 

of my own skies, not yours. 

Not theirs. 

I am brutal and brash- a battle cry 

echoing in the sky, I am 

loud, the cacophony of a city 

melding into a sweet harmony, I am

what I want to be, when I want to

be- and yes, I am no longer 

the girl I used to be,

because now,

now I know how to live for myself.


You hover in the background

of my life, like a ghost that 

refuses to let go, and your

mind is cluttered with questions,

each one it’s own brand of 

egotistical, but you’re too afraid

to ask me anything, too afraid

to even say hello, instead, your 

eyes dart away from me faster

then I can register- I guess we’re

both trying to pretend the other 

doesn’t exist, but it’s hard to ignore

a presence that lingers so close 

you can feel it’s breath on your 

back, I guess, you don’t want to

look at the cause of your guilt. 

Don’t want to acknowledge the 

lines you’ve crossed, see the scars

you’ve left, guess you don’t want 

to deal with the fallout, so instead,

you ask other people- our hearts 

are tin can telephones and they are

the string that connects us, the

rope that will hang us; they are the

middlemen in a transaction that’s

taking place under the table, but 

I would like to change the rules of 

this game, because I hold all the 

cards, you just hold her- I hold 

all the cards, you just hold lies, 

you’re just about getting by, so 

next time you want information, 

get it yourself, stop using your 

friends as proxy walls to answer 

for your bad behaviour- 

do it yourself, and then, when

you’re standing all alone, let’s

see how well you fare.

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.