Despair 101

Seek out the light
leaving your lover’s eyes. Seek the song
strummed from the remaining
fingers of a god, cursed and withering
in its quiet temple. Seek the solace
offered by a kingdom
of stone. Seek out a cure
for the many antidotes of loneliness. Seek out the perfect
bottle more potent than all the whirlwinds stirring
your chest with regret. Seek an ocean
that will deny you all your desires
of drowning. Seek out the absence
of memory: landscapes exempt from time, wine
sweeter than that fatal lie. Seek out your name
in the alphabet of forgotten faces.


A list of things I will never forget:

  1. The question asked over and over.
  2. What not to say while someone is busy dying.
  3. Pain and its scale of ten.
  4. The moment I world taught me helplessness: 3 AM, running to the emergency room, an hour prior to the patient being wheeled in; ten hours prior to another patient dying; 3 hours before X and Y and Z would baselessly blame me for being human, not having enough limbs to see, secure the safety of X other patients in the ward congested, infested; indecision an ampule we forcefully inject on anyone but ourselves.
  5. The titles of books I have read to realize that no explanation will suffice for someone’s passing, permanent or otherwise.
  6. Patience. How it is the parent, spouse, child, or sibling by the bed, wiping a cold rag on someone’s burning skin.
  7. The weight and sleep lost running between wards, stitching sutures to close skulls and spines and that gaping hole in your heart- what it signifies and how it means so little in the span of all things we are meant to lose.
  8. Selfishness and its many faces. The bolus of potassium you so wanted to infuse instead of loosening the plug from the socket, one day at a time: slow as the solution meant to save her.
  9. The average amount of time it takes for someone to accept the loss of someone they love, calculated in dose per kilogram.
  10. All the unnecessary steps we undertake to convince ourselves we’ve done everything we can.


In a different universe the girl succeeded
in her attempt to end it all.

The house she lives in exists
still (how can something disappear
just because someone does?)

Inside: the room she was to move into at 14 remained as a repository of old things. Stock room, storage. Even after the fire. The middle child would not get a room of her own. Not after her sister’s suicide. Tendencies had to be observed. Sadness is a hereditary condition.

The mother always stays in the study, working. She has lines on her face now. They tell her it’s normal, due to age, and sometimes stress. The passing of time. She never tells anyone but she believes the lines are drawn by the ghost of her eldest daughter, who liked to make paintings when alive. Lines upon lines upon lines. She believes the dead would still like to talk, send some signal. Explain their disappearance. Give an answer that was meant to be delivered by the knife, the direction of blood as it streamed out a river from her daughter’s neck.

The youngest child is frequently bullied by the middle sister. Her answer to loneliness lay in the edges of a pair of scissors. Sadness is a hereditary condition and she learns not to ask questions.

The dead girl never left
a single clue.

Journals and sketchbooks alike were burnt. Ashes, scattered in locations only the wind knew. Messages in the mobile phone: erased. Not a single pixel could be coaxed to encode out an acceptable explanation.

Even her friends, one by one: pushed away in the few months prior to her demise.

She made sure to draw lines
around her. Lines thick enough to keep everyone else
from being infected by how sad her body has become.

In this universe, the girl stays
with her sadness and all other conditions
her body is afflicted with.

She attends and tends to each deficiency as she would a flower- watering them daily, diluting the hold of their roots; cutting them with the fine edge of a knife, if there is too much in that invisible garden thriving in her room, presenting them, later on, as gifts to passerby.

The girl believes that if someone refuses to disappear, something else must.

Sadness is a condition you pass on.

So she takes a bud for every bad day and plants it in the heart of a stranger.
Keeping to a safe distance, she waits, watches it bloom.

Torrent took forever so I ended up typing this out. Haha. Bored.