The Doll Factory
Elbows off the table
sit up straight
Good girls speak softly
Close your mouth
fork down between bites
Good girls don’t ask questions
Eat it all
nothing goes to waste
Good girls do as they are told
Answer me with tears
when I scream at you
You don’t need a door
body exploration is sin
Finish your chores
or get the belt
Be home when I say
grounded a week for each minute late
You don’t need books
knowledge is dangerous
You don’t need friends
they’ll poison your mind
Rot in place
Starved of truth, light, air,
Another living dead girl
molded to our specifications.
The Art of Letting Go
“I want to stop chemo,” Vidhya said softly, though she knew he heard her. The words had been stuck in her throat for the past few months now. She was tired and weak and she was going to die. She knew it was just a matter of time, the cancer had progressed too far and there was no point in continued treatment. She knew the end was coming, but first, she wanted to live a little.
“We can’t stop now,” Rohan said, anger rising in his voice. Vidhya knew it wasn’t her he was angry yet, but Rohan was impulsive and she was scared he’d do something he’d regret. “We can’t stop now, the doctors say with more treatment you could get better. It’s still possible,’’ he pleaded. They both knew what he was saying wasn’t true. The doctors said that all more treatment could do was buy time. Time she wished she spent outside of the hospital room.
“You know that’s not true,” she said carefully. Vidhya was all Rohan had left. She loved her little brother, but she knew he could not sway her decision.
“Maybe it could be true, please, just keep doing it for a few more months,” he pleaded again. He couldn’t lose her, not after all they’d gone through. “I can’t live without you.’”
Now that was a punch in the gut. The reason she had taken treatment for so long was to keep him hopeful. She was afraid of what might happen to him after she left. He was only 19 and didn’t trust the world. She had saved some money, though the cancer treatment had been eating at her savings. The money wasn’t what she was worried about though, she was more worried about leaving him alone. She wanted him to go out and make friends, but he seemed to spend his life trapped in this hospital room with her. Her treatment wasn’t helping anyone and it was time to end it.
“I’ve made my decision,” she said finally, her voice firmer than it was before. “I love you chinnu, but it is time for me to go. Don’t make it harder for me than it is already.”
She looked tired, and Rohan knew she was, but if she stopped now she could die in months. His sister deserved more than this short life. He thought chemo could prolong it, but deep down he knew that this wasn’t the life she wanted to live. With her time left, she could travel and see the world. He knew this, yet there was something so hard about letting go. He wanted her to stay with him, he couldn’t face this cruel world alone.
“Alright, ” he whispered, tears running down his cheeks. He didn’t like it. He didn’t want to lose her, but it was time his sister came home.
Monsters (An Ottava Rima Poem)
I leap and dive toward foul wonderland,
An escape, liberation from dismay,
Rainbow forests gleam, so I understand,
Insanity drifts forth, dwell stranger, stray,
Ingest calming terror free, clear dreamland
Smothers, handprints like footsteps lead astray,
Running memories flee skyway without
Me, not a hand or foot, so much to doubt!
I leap and dive toward false paradise,
Away from love and joy, crashing to pain,
An idiot sick, slugs infest, entice,
Once more in the ring of Death ready-slain,
Tea awaits my unfuneral precise,
There at my temple renewed, peace I maintain
Floats foolishly skyway, with horror scopes
Carrying me carefully on tightropes.
i’m lying on the couch, fearful of dying sanity. engulfed in spicy leather.
aching memories have left bruises that stain blue to this day. they sting when my mind traces their outlines.
my hungry hands search, but there are no more cigarettes to be smoked. the thirsty throat burns, but there is nothing left to drink.
postponed dialogues leave scars, but no matter, there are no words left to be spoken. i once fashioned a river of odes to you. it has run dry.
i let the sun descend and breathe thoughts to be condemned.
Love is a Spine-Chilling
Before you came around, I felt like I’d been living in a black hole.
But then you showed up, in the same orbital plane as mine.
I recall how I recognized you
similar to a star as bright as the sun, you had lit up the whole solar system.
I didn’t expect you to notice me when we crossed paths. I’d been convinced I was invisible sinking into the black hole, with no light free of escape.
But that wasn’t true, because he said the moment we had met
I had been for days like a twinkling star
in his eyes view, and he couldn’t wait to pull me into his world.
I still remember how we first fought the gravitational forces
plus the unfamiliar feelings of love,
I reckon we both were in denial
of what we wanted
a decade ago.
We’d been confused by the concept of loving too young and not knowing what trouble that could cause.
Love is a spine-chilling process because
it could lead to many trails like a tornado or a rainbow.
The scary part is being unaware of the tsunamis of love
it makes it tougher to stand
on two feet, sometimes even harder to stay.
Frequently contemplating the next move
to make the following the right words to say next.
Yet, the crazy thing is as young as I was back then, it seemed as if I already knew
how to love him in the ways he wished to be loved from the start.
I believe something in my soul always seems to remind me
he was and still is worth treasuring
every day for the rest of my life
because he brings
in a kind of light that feeds my soul
to anything else
I’ve ever sensed
What’s beautiful is I’ll never feel as I once did cold in a black hole because I trust he will never leave me lonely likewise, I will never leave him alone neither. I’m his star forever. Love is choosing to be two falling stars together not knowing where they might either collide or collapse even burn out like a used charcoal turnt to dust particles. Equally important is the feelings involved the constant hope and actions taken between the two people how will they go about love those feelings involved, will they keep the flames burning as long as time could hold?
As an adult now, I can look down at my left hand with a shiny rock; I must admit choosing one love, choosing to stay always no matter what is the best decision I ever made in my teens
“Nature’s first green is gold”
A gold that scatters about
And hides beneath the brown
Or writhes around trees’ crowns
Mist drapes tentatively around emaciated tree branches
Citadels all around me—
Standing guard, guarding the
Door of Death until that day sweeps in
Fallen logs sleep on the ground
While squirrels seek to disturb their rest
Golden seashells ornament the feet of Neptune
And with each gentle motion, four more kiss his soles
A hidden trail greets my eyes and I
Choose to leave this golden dream
To seek my own reality
Abandoned kids: struggling
Capitalism: Still chugging
Planet: on fire
Mental health: failing