Molecular

I am tired, that’s all.

and so she said.

I see her –

in the magnitude of her being

I see her –

encompassing a universe

we might never experience.

I see her –

speaking, passionately 

walking, with an energy –

An invicible force pushing her.

I also see her

Alone.

Silenced.

Raging.

Hurt.

I see her how everyone sees her.

I also see her

when her guards are down.

Daughters 1

Don’t say bah, she said
Maybe you keep quiet lah

Maybe what you felt was exaggerated?
Maybe what you thought was
a passing note?
Maybe, after all,
It was you, all these while?

And so the girl you raised –
The girl you so carefully brought up –
The girl who carried your wishes
on her shoulder

She kept quiet –
Because ‘macam tu la bah kan’
Because ‘kau bagus cuci pinggan’
Because ‘bagus kau duduk diam’

And she, who has the bones of your forefathers.
She, who has the strength of generations,
She, who could have been much more
than what you have restricted her to be –

And so she sits,
with broken nails,
rough palms,
silenced thoughts –

Our daughters are worth more than this.

Untitled 1.8.2

You’re the tiger, they said.
Louder than the lion, they assumed.

Your heart is made of steel –
Your skin full of tattoos –

Should that not be
an assumption of your feelings?
shouldn’t you always be strong,
shouldn’t you always be okay alone?

What if
I told you
that every heartbreak was written in verses?
that every sacrifice was in a needle in my skin?

What if
every scar
signified a silent disharmony?

What if
some of us just kept quiet?

Every. Damn. Single. Time.

-EJ, silent ramblings (yet again)

Sour delights

Yawn

Stretch

You have opened your jaws too much, haven’t you?

While I have kept silence, all this while, in hurt?

Your glistening teeth and sharp tongue

Your deceiving sweet words and ruthless eyes

One bite out of your fake delights, and one falls to the floor.

Untitled 132

I have never felt my soul broken into pieces

Like this before.

2 years ago.

25 Nov 2014, I wrote:

What’s love?

We were walking by the river, my mum and I, pushing the stroller with my 11-month -old nephew in it, because that’s one of the very few ways you can get him to sleep. “Did papa ever tell you he loved you?” I asked. 

Now, for most of us, I love yous are something you throw around every day, but somehow, I just couldn’t imagine my extremely practical, former dragon mother (former, because she has loosened up a lot the past few years) exchanging romantic words with her husband. 

“Of course!” mum exclaimed, “But you know, it is always easy to say ‘I love you’. It is easy to be in love and stay in love when two people are young and healthy. You will only know what true love is when you’re required to make great sacrifices.”
And it is true. What my mum said is true.
Two years ago, papa had to undergo an operation for a tumor. Fast forward to today, our family is again faced with some tough times, and we don’t know how much longer papa has in this world. 

I flew back a bit more than a week ago to be with my family; to spend time with papa, and to help mum take care of him. He has been in the hospital for the past two months, and when I got back, he wanted to go home – understandably, because it is much better to be in the comforts of your own walls than in a sterile environment. Mum, my sister, her baby, and I picked papa up from the hospital and brought him back, as he wished.

It hasn’t been a smooth path (then again, no journey is easy with sickness and a constant shadow of death looming at the edge of your thoughts) since we got papa home. The medicines we needed to get, daily, from the pharmacy. The doctor’s visits. The palliative care team’s visit. Getting the hospital bed in. Being attentive to papa’s needs, 24/7. 

You know, the whole ‘in sickness and in health / til death do us part’ thing? You will never even grasp a tiny bit of what that vow entails until you’ve experienced being with someone who’s incapable of taking care of himself (or herself). I see the commitment to that vow in my mum. From the moment papa wakes up, to the moment he sleeps, she’s by his side. Feeding him. Changing him. Wiping him clean. Changing his tubes, dressing. Cleaning up his vomit. Being constantly worried about his comfort. Helping him to sit up. Helping him to go to the toilet. Shaving him. Holding back her tears when he’s talking about the end of life. Every day. Every night.

How many of us would do that, really?
Because it is so easy to think, yeah, sure, of course I’d do that for my loved one. But you see, love is so general and so fleeting. Loving someone, including making physical and emotional sacrifices, is never a given. It’s so easy to send someone to the clinic, or visit someone in the hospital, but when shit really hits the fan, how much time and energy would you sacrifice cleaning it up?
How much true love and kindness do we really have for one another?

A different kind of fairytale

I want nothing more than a fairytale –

But not in the way he looks
how much he earns
nor in the size of his house –

But a fairytale
measured in passion
in intensity
in a never-ending infatuation

A fairytale
that’s made of needing each other

A fairytale
about only being able to sleep
when we’re holding hands.

There is a cocktail made of sadness, relief and revelation.

Untitled ramblings, again.

Oh, you feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
You move at the slightest shudder, the softest touch, the most silent breeze.
You feel, you hurt, you tear.

Oh, there are those among us whose hearts are just too tender.
Those who are in vertigo between the lines of acceptable and emotional.

Oh, how we wonder.
How we wonder what kind of right it is, to feel.
-E.J. 

Closed

How weird, how odd.

I was first inspired by my sister to write. Not that she encouraged me; I instead stumbled upon her ‘secret’ book of poems that I too, being the youngest and always wanting to do what my sister was doing, decided to do the same.

My emotions were laid down in verses. My imagination in short stories. When it came to choose a degree course, I took up American Lit (to which my parents asked me how exactly do I think I can earn a living with that) as my first major, Asian Studies being the second. 

I love words. I love how they affect me. 

However, lately, they’ve become too severe for me. Do you get that? I’ve become reluctant to read the books that used to inspire me. I have instead, now, taken to meaningless chick lits, the happily-ever-afters. The Chuck Palahniuks, the Bret Easton Ellises, the Isabel Allendes, the Anuradha Roys, and the likes. The written documentations of human trafficking, of indigenous abuse – I cannot take anymore. They leave me depressed for days.

So yes, the former lover of written words. I have embraced Bridget Jones, your Princess Diaries, your no-brainer works. 

Because otherwise, I do not know how to accept humanity as it is, currently.

If you could, choose ignorance.