It’s All You
Or so you think
Are you alone?
Darling, it takes great strength
To do what you have done
Tell, who was it
That rubbed your sleepy eyes
Then tumbled from the bed?
Tell, who told you
Pick that body once more
From off the shower floor?
Tell, what power
Forced you light the stove
To cook breakfast for yourself?
You’re getting stronger
It’s all you
#selfcare #powerfulpeople #love #stronger #overcomer
[Insert Long Japanese Title Here]
*Another even manlier pose*
*A sort of gay pose*
"My dog is dead"
Why am I so happy to know your favourite color?
Why does it make me smile that it's not far from mine?
Why does your smile make mine grow?
Why do I hurt when you point out my little moments of meaness?
Why do I love that you try so hard?
Why do I love that you forget the order of the rainbow?
Why can't I get the courage to sit by you?
Why do I glance at you every few seconds?
Why do I remember your habits?
Why do I love that you and I were confused together?
Life After Death
“Mommy, where do we go when we die?”
And there it was, the question Emeline has been dreading to answer aside from the birds and the bees.
How does an atheist answer this question? Does she tell her child there is nothing after death, that we all just turn to dust six feet under and that’s that? Emeline takes a deep pause. She clears her throat repeatedly and mumbles “um” as she scrambles for an answer.
She eyes the door, maybe she could make a run for it. She pushes the thought from her mind, puts on her best fake smile and begins.
“Well honey, you see-” she says as she brushes the hair from the little one’s face, “we don’t really go anywhere.”
The little boy’s face scrunches at the response.
“You mean we just stay here?”
Emeline realizes she’s been vague, but maybe vague was the answer to her problems. Maybe she could “vague” her way out of this question.
“Yeah, kind of.”
The little boy’s eyes light up as he sits up straight in his bed.
“Does that mean daddy is still here?”
Emeline’s breath ceases momentarily. Suddenly the purpose for the question makes more sense. Her husband had died two years prior in an accident. He was in critical condition at the hospital before he passed. It was the first and last time Emeline prayed.
Emeline’s tone becomes more stern.
“No sweetie. Daddy’s not here anymore, you know that.”
Oddly, the light in the boy’s eyes grows brighter.
“But I’ve seen him, and you just said we stay here when we die. So, I know I’m not seeing things.”
A rumbling begins in Emeline’s stomach. She takes a deep breath, tightly clenches her teeth and says, “Sweetie, you know that’s impossible. Daddy is gone, and he’s never coming back.”
The boy is deflated. Emeline realizes she may have come off a bit too harsh.
“No,” he screams, “you’re lying. Daddy is still here. I’ve seen him!”
“Honey, I need you to calm down. Don’t you speak to me like that-”
“You’re lying, you’re lying,” he says over and over again.
“Sweetie-” Emeline tries to hold him, but he pushes her off.
“He’s still here,” he shouts.
Emeline sighs defeatedly. “Fine!” she screams, “Fine, fine I believe you, just please settle down.”
The little boy stops, breathing heavily. “You do?”
“Yes” Emeline says, “yes, I believe you.” Emeline realizes she has to let him keep his imagination. He’s far too young for her truth, and if “seeing” his dad gives him comfort and let’s him cope, then what kind of mother is she to take that away?
“Good because daddy said you had to believe so I could tell you.”
Emeline’s face is befuddled, but she plays along.
“Tell me what?”
The little boy yawns. “He told me to tell you to open the top drawer of the corner cabinet in his study. He said you’ll find a box in there with a note attached. He said he’d been meaning to give it to you, but never got the chance.”
Emeline’s once blush cheeks fade into a shade of white paler than a ghost. Her throat clogs as she is at a loss for words.
“I-” she begins to say, but the little boy is fast asleep.
Emeline regains her composure. Confused, she turns off the lights in the bedroom, closes the door behind her and takes a moment outside of her son’s room. “He’s confused,” she says, “it’s just his imagination.”
Emeline attempts to brush off the bizarre conversation with her son as she walks away only to pass the study. She pauses and stands in front of the door. She hasn’t entered since her husband’s death. Emeline’s pulse is racing, her palms sweating profusely, she takes a deep breath and reaches for the handle. Her hand rests on the handle for a beat as she musters up the courage to open the door. “This is ridiculous,” she finally says, “it’s all in his head and this will prove it.” With one turn she enters.
The study is dusty but everything is as her husband left it. Emeline storms towards the cabinet in the corner and opens the top drawer as instructed. Other than a few envelopes there was nothing. Emeline is somewhat dejected, but reassured that it is all in her son’s head.
As she is about to close the drawer, she notices the board in the drawer is lopsided. Emeline removes the envelopes from the drawer and pushes further on the lopsided end. The board pops open and reveals a false bottom with a single box within it.
Emeline gulps at the reveal. Suddenly the room is spinning and the walls are closing in.
“Breathe,” she tells herself, “he must have seen David putting the box in the drawer. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Emeline deeply sighs and slowly reaches for the box and sees a note attached.
“To my dear Emeline, I am a man of my word. I’m only sorry it took so long and wish I could give you even more. I love you forever. David.”
Emeline brushes her fingers across the ink on the paper as though for a brief moment she has her husband back.
A single tear strolls down Emeline’s face as she opens the box. Emeline begins sobbing uncontrollably as she stares at an emerald cut diamond ring, the ring David had promised Emeline when he first proposed with a ten dollar silver band. She takes the ring from the box and places it atop the rusty silver band on her ring finger. She laughs nervously, not knowing what to believe.
“Mommy?” she hears her son’s voice behind her, “are you crying?”
She quickly wipes her tears and turns to face her son. “No baby, mommy’s okay,” she says.
He sees the box in her hand. “You found it!” he shouts excitedly, “see, I told you.”
Emeline smiles. “You were right. Come on let’s go back to bed.”
Emeline takes her son’s hand as they head back to the bedroom, and she tucks him in.
“Mommy, does heaven exist?” he asks.
Emeline looks down on her son’s pure face. “You know what sweetie, I don’t know, but I know you exist, and if there is a heaven, you’re it for me.”
The little boy smiles, temporarily satisfied by his mother’s answer.
Whether heaven exists, or there’s life after death, or if Emeline’s husband really did show himself to their son doesn’t matter to Emeline because in this moment she has everything she needs right on earth.
She kisses her son’s forehead and closes the door behind her. She looks at the rings on her finger and smiles as she makes her way to her bedroom.
Some things are better left unknown.
Let’s float away
Come with me
Let's float away
Into the unknown
Together we'll discover
What lies ahead
Just me and you
Is all we need
Leave the broken shards behind
Of the past we once knew
Let's begin again
Despite the fear
Don't look back
Just take my hand
Look into my eyes
And know I am here
Till the end
Writing Gives Me Air
Writing gives me air.
When I was one and half years old, my mother and I came to America from Russia, leaving my father behind due to visa issues. I wouldn’t see my father for the next seven years. My mother and I lived with my grandparents, and I grew up watching my mother work tirelessly in order to support my grandparents, my father, who was now in Nepal, and I. I grew up listening to my grandparents and extended family tell my mother that she was too young, too pretty to wait for a man who would never make it to America, but my mother never listened; instead she told me epic stories of my father and her, and the things they went through together that I’d only seen and heard in movies or on television. How they’d escaped from really bad people, how my father was taken for a week and had his jaw broken for money, how we once almost froze in the streets of Moscow because we were locked out of the place we were staying and so on and so forth. Listening to my mother, and later my father who would confirm, convinced me that I would one day tell their story… that I had to.
With the absence of my father and my mother working more and more, I was left with two oblivious grandparents and my thoughts. So, I began creating a world of my own. I created characters and premises that allowed me to escape and cope with a life I’d yet to understand.
Fast forward to when I was eight years old. My family was together again; my grandparents had moved on, life seemed promising. My parents were more in love than ever, and never failed to flaunt it, but something changed when my brother was born the following year. My mother fell into post-partum depression, and my father brought his anger from work home. He became distant, angry, and impatient, especially with my mother. As the years went on, their flaring love dimmed. My parents only communicated through yelling and my mother suspected an affair, a suspicion that has yet to be proved but has become a fact to my mother.
As the years went on, I became a parental figure to my brother and a mediator for my parents. I learned to never cry in front of my brother, to always be strong when I stopped a fight in the middle of the night and to just keep pushing forward.
Externally, I kept a happy smile, made others laugh and pretended like everything was normal.
But internally, I was dying. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry and shout, but no one could hear me. It felt like I was constantly holding my breath.
So, I did the only thing I knew how, I wrote, well actually, I write.
I take my laptop, open an empty doc and fill the empty space with words, and somehow I can breath again.
Did you see the sky today?
Did you see the way it trembled, anticipating the fail?
Did you see the way it let go?
The thin flakes spiralling down,
Stacking up in a glorious display of colourless beauty.
Cold, heartless, beautiful.
Did you see the way the snowflakes landed peeacfully on everything?
Did you see the way it kept falling, kept going, after it seemed,
The sky should have lost everything?
Obscuring the dirt of the cars,
Hiding away issues and problems,
With the weight of its fall.
Did you feel the water seeping in, surrounding you?
Did you feel the simple joy, washing over you?
Did you breathe in the cool, clear air?
Obscuring the little things,
Becoming a larger, prettier one.
Uniting the land into one beautiful plain.
Did you think of laughter?
Did you see the snowfolk?
Did you dream of playing?
The sky has brought cold and joy.
A blanket across the land keeping it safe,
Until it is ready to understand the warmth again.
Did the snow make you think of safety?
Did it make you think of simpler things, with its simplicity?
Did it make you wish you were with me?
Snow has fallen, ice is calling.
Strong and weak.
Expanding and melting.
Do you think you are like the snow, falling, falling, freeing itself?
Do you think you are like the ice, strong, weak, and slipping?
Do you think you are like the leaves, changing, fallen, forgotten, and left behind?
Be the snow, and the winter.
Winter is weak and cold.
It is strong and enduring.
It is warmth and laugher and tears.
Be the winter.
There is more to life than either side.
Good and bad,
Happy and sad.
You can be both.
Focus on both sides.
You don't have to be only one.
You can be the winter.
Did you forget I love you?
Did you forget you love you?
Did you forget to come back to Earth, after you went to explore the world above?
Don't forget the warm and cold.
The weak and bold.
The falling down and getting back up again.
You can do this.
I know you can.
You can be the winter.
You must be.
You have to get back up again.
Won't you come sit by the fire?
gilded with gold
bars of lies
metal or mental
i don't know.
the world outside
hurts my eyes
i can't tell
is it burning or shining?
i have the key
i could leave
it would be simple
but i don't.
you ask why
implore me to leave
because you know that this cage
this cage is my mind.
my illness has lied to me
for so long
told me what it thinks
i must hear.
lies of people
because at times
it was the only thing
that heard my silent wishes
noticed my lonely days.
who wouldn't love
that paid attention
when all else seemed to fail?
so the untrue things
and my mind
crumbled under the force
of empty promises
and empty threats
of a world imagined
to be hostile.
please tell me.
i just need to know.
does the liar choose the lie
or the lie the liar?
I miss stockholm syndrome.
I miss the bliss
that came from ignorance
the ignorance that trapped me
in that cage of lies
lies better than these
the one in front of you.
that isn't realized
till it is gone
but not missed
for the clear
to these fabrications
and I feel like
the free marionette
in it's nonexistant strings.