to my siblings

but who will ever see me like
you see me? when i put on a smile
for the world, who besides you
will be able to see the
cracks in my walls,
climb in gently and fix me?
without me ever having to ask?

they say blood is thicker
than water but you are the
blood and the water
that washes away my bleeding –
you are in my veins,
even when we are cruel
to one another.
even when you’re not in my
blood. but we’re growing up,
and we are unlearning cruelty,
and we are the foundations
of this house now,
not the children running
inside. not anymore.

we are growing up, and
we can see each other clearly
now, and we can see we’re all
we’ve got. and this love
that flows from me to you
and you to me, i don’t
take it for granted.
i don’t take it lightly.

we have tended to this garden
together. we have watched it
and each other grow. look at
all this beauty. look
at all the love inside us
blooming like baba’s roses
in the spring.

we have loved and held each
other through death and
heartache, even when we
didn’t understand each other,
especially when no one
understood us but us.

and i have seen your lovers
come and go, and i have seen
you become mothers and fathers,
and aunties and uncles,
i have seen the love you’re
all capable of. i have seen
how you’ve made this world

we have grown,
but only we are capable of
seeing the children within
each other. and it was an honor
to watch you grow. and it
was an honor to be seen,
even when all i wanted to do
was hide.

and though the world
may separate us, oceans and
time difference between us,
we will hold each other still.
and no one will see us the way
we see each other.

my band of misfits,
my beautiful tribe,

that is both terrifying
and the biggest blessing.

let all our sins against
each other be forgiven.
let our love wash away
the pain of our past.
let us be each other’s
light in the midst of
all this darkness.
in you lies
my salvation,
and in me a river of love
flowing gently forever
into the sea
of all your hearts.


dream trip

If I cannot kiss your forehead,
place your tired head on my lap
and promise you a trip to Geneva
in the summer again,
                    without my friends,
                   just the two of us,
                   maybe we’ll tell mom,

then a kiss on my wrist where
your heartbeat meets mine
will have to do. Forever.
So many days and nights have
passed since I’ve said
your name out loud –
a denial and so deep
it has taken my voice
and rationality.  
I have resisted calling
out for you not because you
are gone, but because
you are still here,
and to call out for you is
to break that illusion.
(Death makes us all delusional,
irrational, magical beings.)

I admit,
since I cannot kiss your forehead,
or place your tired head on my lap,
since I cannot promise you
a trip           – to Geneva or otherwise,
                   but you would have wanted Geneva,
                   like you always did –

I have given up on almost everything.
These nights, you barely show up
in my dreams, but when you do,
the first thing you always do is hug
me. And in every dream, I am in a
reality where you’ve come back.
It is so easy to believe,
because you are still so real to me.
But since I cannot kiss your forehead,
or your hands – your beautiful
 -, I will tell you
how much I love you when
we’re both alive in my subconscious.
I will tell you nothing has
changed. I will book the flight
to Geneva with my dream money
and take us there.
There is somewhere where you
still exist, and we are happy,
and I say your name out loud still:
                      Baba, you came back to me!
                    Now let’s go catch our flight!

a prayer

My creator:
You made me in your image,
carved me out of unconsciousness,
picked me out of a void
of nothingness – a long,
blissful sleep –
and brought me (screaming out,
to you) into this life.

You were the first thing
I prayed to
          – the only God I knew,
the closest thing to
divinity, before I understood
              divinity –
and even before religion taught
me what prayer was.

My creator,
my very first word was a prayer.
My first word was an act of
My first word was an acknowledgement
of your holiness:
                       my creator,
                       the goddess who gave me
                       life –
you made me in your image,
and his image,
                    a descendant of
                         mortal gods.
The only way I know how to
pray is still by
facing you.

the dying of the light

mama, i did not rage
when the light died –
i died with it.
i died with it.
a thousand deaths have
taken place inside me
and i don’t yet understand
how i am still here,
when the light died,
mama, i died too.
not even a flicker left,
i was extinguished from
the inside, total darkness
in my every room.
this world is cruel,
you taught me, and i
learned that early,
and during,
and after, and
again and again.
repetition, always –
the message sticks,
the message always the
i did not rage, mama,
or i did, but
it made no difference.
i did not rage,
or i think i was rage,
and then i vanished.
a big bang, and after,
not a new world but
the light is dead, mama,
or is dying,
and there was nothing
and there is nothing i
can do.
the light is dead, mama,
and i think i might be too.


So good at silence now,
I stumble through the world of the speaking,
a stranger again,
another home to be banished from.
Hard to miss, carrying my
solitude like that.
I know what a strange sight I must be,
a broken and fragile beast.
I know you’ve come expecting roaring.
How can I tell you it’s been days
since I’ve heard my own voice?
That even the moon looks away
from me now,
ashamed of what I’ve become.
But I’m so good at silence now,
I swallow even my explanations.
What a waste, you say, and I agree.
A small nod to let you know:
I’m disappointed too.
But this silence – and my fantasies
of nonexistence – they’re all I
have to offer you now.
Sit with me if you like,
for a while,
I don’t mind.
Leave if it unravels you.
I promise I’ll understand.