I’d been rehearsing this moment
over and over again in my head
The moment I had to bid everyone goodbye

I thought I was strong
All twenty four year olds should be, right?

But as I stood in front of the gate,
the smile hiding the timid version of myself
crumbled down completely

Because leaving those dear to your heart
would never be easy

was the only word I managed to say
as I cried in my dad’s embrace,
something I would never outgrow
I guess I would always be dad’s little girl

Mom didn’t say much
She never does
She doesn’t need to
because I know
she loves me more than anyone else does

I stared at their faces a little too long,
trying to capture what my camera could not
their fine lines
their familiar scents
their warmth
I wanted to bring with me,
wherever I go

I waved at them for the last time,
hoping the distance between us
would not separate us,
hoping this journey
would all be worth it

Make up

There’s a thin line between
feeling ashamed and having no shame
but you clearly can’t see the line

She is not ashamed
Her jet black winged eyeliner
curved beautifully along the lines
of her black eyes
A testament bolder than your mocking stares

She is not ashamed
Her lips fully painted in shades of red:
scarlet, crimson, and maroon,
running in her blood
A statement louder than your nasty words

Shame on you!
Black tears left permanent marks
on your flawless cheeks
Blood red dripping from your mouth
your words bitter and toxic

“Hey, maybe you need to put on some make-up.”

fallen angels

Faint cries were heard in the distance
Serenading them with a gloomy lullaby
Sleep came fast as their eyelids grew heavy
They waited and waited for the melody to stop
They waited and waited but it never did

Lying down among the scattered debris with no roof above their heads
Blanketed in the remnants of their skin and grey dust
Sleep came fast as the air in their lungs began to seep away
They waited and waited for the dream to come
They waited and waited but it never did


what we (want to) say

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry, I’m fine.” (“I guess?”)

“You sure? Do you want me here?”

“No, you can leave.” (“Please stay.”)

“Sorry. I don’t know what to say.”

“It’s okay. You don’t need to say anything.” (“Tell me everything’s gonna be okay.”)

How many times have we lied to ourselves and others, closing the front gate every time the vulnerable side of us threatens to march in protest, violently shoving the need for a pat on the back or a look of pity we are too ashamed to want down our throats?

How many times have we put up a facade, building a giant wall no one would be able to climb over to see the beautiful side of us—the cracked cement, the abandoned caves, the rabbit holes—we mistake for imperfections rather than a bond uniting all of us, the only thing we actually have in common?

All the words left unspoken… they deserve better. You deserve better.