Message through the Blackhole

Dear God, hello.

It’s I—

Your errant kid who still sits at the back of church pews,

having trouble in the women’s section of your long dining table,

questioning the dress code, trying my best to chew with my mouth shut,

and also wondering if I am legitimate here?

Are my queer friends here too?

 
While I’m at it, can I also ask?

Is this a personalised course meal, or can we select anything from the menu?

Because my mother keeps on playing with her soup,

silently hoping that the next meal would come

before she scrapes the bowl dry.

All the while, my sister is being berated

for her impetuousness of having steaks

for breakfast.
 

Regardless, i would like to say grace

for having the banquet table constantly filled.

We just ain’t sure if you like us to eat it.

I mean, we sorta developed

a post-traumatic disorder for picking

one of the fruits in your garden.

And because we are not sons,

we are double-shamed for every china piece

that got broken

for being too loud, or for liking something else,

or sometimes for forgetting to say

‘pretty please’ and ‘thank you.’

I even heard one of your boys say we ought to eat the crumbs

that fall from your table.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why some

of us here have grown extremely meticulous,

trying to prove their worth by

depriving themselves of the joys of dessert.

While others just swallow what is given to them

so that nobody could question their presence—

turning a blind eye from predators who warn girls not to touch

that black forest cake

just so they can secretly pluck

the cherry toppers for themselves.
 

Still, i thank you for the abundance of fortune cookies

which you made available for each and everyone

who tries to find reason in the chaos that we made for ourselves.

They make up for the rest of the dinner conversation

while we all wait for You

to chime the glass bell.
 

I would also like to apologise.

I know it’s bad manners to tell you, the host,

these kinds of things.

I was taught to smile and trust that everything will be fine,

that this party is the best, and im sooo fortunate

for securing myself a seat,

but some of your close friends say

You’d appreciate our genuine feedback
 

Im also sorry for the times when I asked you for something

Only to change my mind

(i.e. my job)

Oftentimes I find myself not too sure

if my tastes have significantly changed,

or was I just influenced with what others are eating.

I don’t find milk as appealing as wine now,

but thank you for being aware of those nights

when i need my chocolate chip cookies

dunked in full-cream milk,

and for those aperitifs best paired

with your hand-painted sunsets.
 

Thank you for giving me time to chew

before I can fully swallow the magnitude of your presence,

for being invited to your party

despite my introvert tendencies,

and for seating me beside people

who have different ways of looking into things.
 

Thank you for letting

parts of you be embodied in metaphors

that we guests cannot fully grasp

try as we might.

And for not answering all queries or everything at once,

but assuring us that there is order at the head of the table

even though how far-placed my seat is to you.

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Whitewashed

Maybe it’s just the wine talking, but let me confess:

when you echoed the words I have long spoken into thin air

I felt the universe answer my lost prayers—

For once, the mountains moved, and the earth opened its wells

for rain to kiss its cracked cheek.

For once, there was no malice in the exchange. Only a conversation

picked and continued after years of white noise.

And when I thought the sun would finally stand still,

The boon was suddenly taken back, jolting me from my trance—

All I have are just prayer beads spilled on the cold floor

As if the plea was too sinful to begin with.

Sunday night, drunk on love

In everything that exists

The universe manifests its will.

It whispers through the stillness of the night—

the moment when you are at most ease

(probably from a post-orgasmic bliss).

During that particular point in free flowing time

Your heart is calm and it beats peace.

Listen to the overflow

of the ocean that is your soul.

Watch how waves are parted,

water will be turned into wine,

and you will get served.

Be mildly drunk. You will make love

With yourself

Who you have thirsted for so long

Who you have left in the desert to die

In pursuit of another.

You will taste bitterness

aged by experience

matured by years of longing

And you will find it sweet.

Shamhat

From the beginning of time, the goddess reveals herself

through this earth. She comes and strips naked

before the eyes of those she has chosen. She purses her lips,

invites spectators to kiss. Their own fate

she unravels with her skilful tongue:

a tale of eternal sojourns.
 

This you must know, pilgrim.

There is no quench to your needs,

simply an acknowledgement of it.

Coming to this temple is not the end to your wanderings.

Merely a beginning of infinite pathways

Unfolded through my body

Welcome, touch.

But you must not make a home here.
 

Instead, I invite you to walk.

Tread with your arms, wrestle with your legs.

Plow, cultivate vegetation into this flesh

trying to swallow you whole

panting, stretching, growling
 

And when your back has already been clawed raw,

when you have devoured every fruit that grows,

when you have drunk water from every crevice,

when you have released your last seed into this ground,

cast your eyes at the expanse-

at awe in all things around you.

This land renews itself. Opens pathways

for her new stranger.
 

Let everything behind and before you

pass your view. Go.

Hatchet

I have always been honest

except for the times when I have to obscure

emotions into lines like these.

The amount of poems I have written

are also the number of times I lied

by fitting half truths into shells

of acceptable excuses.
 

We both know my words are dead

Bodies at the bottom of the lake

Without soul, without ships to anchor with.

They stare back at me, eyes without light

I couldn’t look away from them.
 

Tonight, I let the waters claim another victim.

Flushing blood from veins, disintegrating organs

Into solubles. I bathe into my own essence

Sweat and fragrance carried into ripples

Briefly glistening then disappearing

Preserving a memory.

Heritage

These are the words of your ancestors-
Your grandmothers who have surfaced from the sea,
leaving the life of comfort behind,
humming growth and livelihood
to anyone willing to walk and be bruised.
 
They become the song of your mothers
queens who have long paved the road
with their footsteps,
who have discovered the ability to fly,
and have been burnt by being able to do so.

They are not lost to your sisters
who have managed to gather the ashes
at the foot of the stakes,
releasing them to the wind
as to where they originally belonged.

These are heirlooms from your kin
Your family who waits for you
should you decide to be born:

Know.

There is no permanence,
No land to contain your bones.

You are not meant for staying.
We are all pilgrims of realms.

There will be long nights
when you have to travel alone,
tend a fire within your body,
and eat whatever that grows.

There will be days when
you will be fed,
share a bed with a stranger,
and see the world glow
at someone else’s windowsill

There will be afternoons and midnights
when someone will graze at your palm,
holding you close,
pleading you not to go,

But you gotta be brave.
You have to trust
the universe who placed you here
will usher you safe
where you are needed to be.

Probably not as comfortable as you would expect.
Who ever told that flying on broomsticks is easy?
Who ever said you can grow fins overnight?
But you will learn.

It’s in your very marrows.
History etched at your spine,
Molten fire in your veins,
They are your heritage.
Waiting to be used.
Waiting to be acknowledged.

Graces

To exist.

To safely arrive from one point to another,

To enjoy the momentary stillness amidst the honking of horns,

To radiate the warmth of sunlight into another person’s hand,

To take advantage of being cold as an invitation to intimacy,

To write without fear, to create without warning,

To look into the eyes of a child, defying demarcations of time,

To impregnate yourself with joy, to be expectant of it,

To partake in the labor of the universe,

To surrender a bit in the grand order of things,

    floating on an endless ocean, finding your breath underwater,

    leaving your children in their sleep, trusting their innate gift,

To live, to swim, to grow their own gills,

To find water wherever there is,

     becoming more aware that the going and returning are just halves,

     of a person I long knew, and will know,

These are graces I continually thank for