It surprises me how we fell into each other’s lives
in the patient span of seven years. We began with resisting
the pull of loneliness. We prayed
to the gods and let our bodies be eased
across easier bodies: all those people who demanded so little
for slivers of affection. Whose name do you find yourself calling
amidst those seasons of entropy? Remember the taste of all our secrets
done right? I fervently believed my heart
a caged animal – its hooves pounding songs
of longing: the sweet lack
of self-control. How you stood
unflinching when I confessed my eyes were blind
to the color of kindness, saturated with sighing wavelengths
in a universe eager to keep its distance. How you held me
as I shook, frightened of all things good. Your hands steady
as my bones rearranged themselves to accommodate this enormity
called love. Our shadows titans resting
against the white wall of your room.
I reach out to touch your face and my limbs grow wings
wide enough to map all the landscapes of happiness
we planted in our sleep. All those golden seeds blooming into beauty,
certain to rip our bodies apart.

It’s been awhile since I updated this thing.
Poem above is going to come out in a publication with some of my newer works sometime soon.

Also, you probably know whom this piece is about. Heh.


Love X Death

(Excuse the whacko title of this Crazy!Renga with Monching D)

What I’d like to tell you is “I’m okay,”
having taken the prescribed Lithium,
I can hear the clock tick in song, slurred and long –
I don’t stutter anymore.
I keep the stories to myself;
your face clear in each,
the stretch of your body reaching out
to the other bodies – their lips becoming yours: thin
as a curved needle, awaiting a body, an ailment to fix, affixing
suture to both mend and blend with skin, with sinew: scars
that have kept festering, persisting like bone
beneath a hundred layers of bedrock. I count
the months by the doses, by the cups
of water sipped, signifying compliance, the desire for some form
of recovery. I’m okay and no one watches
as I sleep, dreaming of flames- tremors dancing
at the tips of my fingers.

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.


Dearly discarded, not so departed can of iced tea procured at price much to extravagant for her age and absence of income but it makes her feel better and what won’t she give to feel better?

Skeleton charm dangling from a village of others (ice cream, turtle, bottlecap, teacup, ring, Chinese cat) affixed to a corner of her mobile phone, reminiscent of a childhood spent seeing things in black and white, rewatching stop motion films; a rag doll jumping from atop a tower, prepared to reassemble, stitch up a torn body from cobblestoned depths all for the sake of love.

Camera that borders between categories of hand me down versus indefinitely borrowed versus But I need something for documentation as if saying such a thing repeatedly would make it true, would make her actually want to keep those memories despite the scratch on the device’s screen, despite the smile shot midway, the man who looks at the machine but not her, the click indicating the end.

Gloves tossed to the trash bin bearing infectious seed of patient previously interviewed, diagnosed with the desire to love infinitely, harboring germs alongside othersuch pains of human interaction; No need to identify the organism, said her superior, Just treat him and tell him to stop.

Blah blah blah blee blee making the most of free time.


This is going to be a quickie since I’m thisclose to having exams and my readings rival Borges’ Babylonian library (*insert panic and weeping and more coffee*) but hey, good news:

New poem (“Aphasia”) up at Stone Telling 9: Menagerie!

Many thanks to editors Rose Lemberg & Shweta Narayan.

(PS Kind of amusing that I spent a chunk of the day reviewing Neuro topics- Guillain-Barre, Peripheral Nerve Diseases, and Alzheimer’s)