As a young girl,
who wore her heart
on her sleeves,
I’ve placed
trust in every
palm that
was held before me.

I drove out, given, taken
laughter where it suited.

My dreams were stories
I openly told people
who would lend me their ears.
In return, they treated them
as if they were gifts
they were too eager
to receive.

The questions I had
were met with answers
as if my life and theirs
depended on them.

The thrill of growing up
and knowing my words
could pull people
like magnets was a gift
I took for granted.

I discovered that words,
that left the tongue,
and fell on ears
and caught by eyes,
was like a daisy,
plucked from the roots,
never to bloom again
from the earth,
but would forever
seek residence
in the heart and
foster in the mind.

I found that words
could be both –
the reddest of roses
and sharpest of thorns.

Slowly, unknowingly,
the sleeves of my shirts grew longer.
Open and willing palms turned into
clenched fists.
laughter was unlike the oxygen
I breathed.
it was a rare stone,
worked hard for,
slaved over,
only to find out,
on occasion that
they were fake.

(I doled out laughter and smiles
as if I had them in abundance
to get me in and out of
situations that suited me.)

I didn’t know.
I was already a player
in the game of pretend
they called ‘adulthood’,
which I thought was a myth,
but all too well,
discovered, bruised,
burnt, that no one plays
this game willingly,
but we’re thrust upon it,
pretending to know the rules
from the get-go.

no wonder when I was a child,
the adults craved
the company of the naive girl.
realization struck me –
the innocence of a child,
is unlike the innocence
of an adult.
the innocence of a grown up,
is a weapon of destruction,
whereas to a child,
it is a shield of comfort.
It is endless possibility and hope
until it is broken down
by messy hands
and clumsy tongues.
but rebuilt with the will
and strength formed from
years of falling down.

This is my secret place.
This is where I hide from
the chaos of the world.
This is where peace is sought,
not often caught,
but when found,
solitude.

This is my secret place.
This is where I find
the beauty in chaos.
This place is mostly safe,
not always though.
Because thoughts,
sometimes,
are dangerous.

When dust settles,
there, in my secret place,
I gather all the ghosts
that haunt me.
Greet them.
Bid them,
until then,
rest.

there’s an innocence to holding hands.
that first brush of the tip of his fingers
against my palm.
the way they glide across it,
aiming for the gaps.
the way his fingers curl,
almost hesitantly,
as if i am delicate,
as if holding me too tightly
will break me.
because he knows,
between us,
holding hands will never be just
about hands touching.
so gently, he continues.
fingers clasping.
breath held.

so much for innocence
and the promise of more to come.

That is How I Met Hope

after a resigned sigh,
she said “you are amazing.
you deserve the universe
and all good things in life.
but you have to realise
that sometimes, what you want
isn’t always what you need.”

and I looked at her.
really looked at her.
seeing the hollowness behind her eyes
for the first time since we’ve met.
my heart squeezed tight.
almost to the point of unbearable pain.
I wanted to ask her,
‘who hurt you so badly
that you started to believe
that you’re unworthy?’

but I don’t.
instead I say,
“i have all I need
in front of me right now.
do you trust me?”

she nods slightly.
what she’s not saying is
that she doesn’t trust herself.

so I assure her,
“leap. and I promise
i will not let you fall.
instead, i will teach you how to fly.”

i have never seen a flower
bloom before my eyes.
but in that moment,
if hope was a flower,
then by God,
does it bloom beautifully
behind her eyes
and her smile.

Write your thoughts in beautiful words
and let the winds carry them to me.
Write your anguish in beautiful words
and let the winds carry them to me.
Write your inspiration in beautiful words
and let the winds carry them to me.
But not your love.
Never your love.
Don’t let words tell me how your lips
will touch mine.
Come to me.
Show me.
Because no composition of words
will ever define how divine
your love tastes on my tongue.