Waiting | Poetry

Trafalgar Square at 3 am waiting for a bus home

Wearing a jacket too big for me

Strangely enough the collar still smells like you

Of your trust

It’s easier to pretend it’s not the sleeves

But the ghost of your arms that are shielding me from

The midnight breeze

When the bus comes

I feel a little warmer

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Name II | Poetry

Every time I say your name

Flowers bloom in my lungs

Invisible fingers curl around my spine

Butterfly wings beat hurricanes in my

stomach.

 

The pressure is so strong

You could shove your hand down my

throat and

Pull out diamonds.

Name | Poetry

My name in my language

Rolls off the tongue like liquid silk

Music on the ridges of the palette.

But in your language it’s the

Violent scraping of teeth

All wrong and aggressive.

Isn’t it strange;

I only ever love my name

When you say it.

Kiss of Life | Poetry

You’re not a fire

That burns bright for an instant

Only to be snuffed out by time.

You’re a flood.

And God how I want to float in your waters

And drink the life that pours out of your mouth till I too

Become a flood

And sink the world in life.

Temple | Poetry

I wash the sin from my hair at dawn

With rose water and the last remnants of moonlight.

I scrub my feet with rags dipped in milk and yesterday’s prayers.

I have sandalwood incense sticks for fingers,

Braided coconut husks for ribs,

And jasmine blooms for a womb.

Swirling mandalas trace themselves on my thighs in fine ash,

Bright vermilion pours from my parted lips.

The fire is stoked with charcoal and cinnamon in my belly,

The bells are silent in my throat,

Waiting for the ritual to begin.

Qamash tied around my ankles

Pulls my legs apart.

This is where you come to pray.

Colonisers | Poetry

They came on ships

With horses and gunpowder they stole from the neighbours.

They stood in rows of red,

fresh wounds carved into our backs with garden rakes.

They made us serve them on our dining tables

With forks made of braided veins and splintered bone.

(They didn’t know we ate with our hands).

They strangled us with collars,

Turned us into their guard dogs

And set us loose against each other.

They split our house down the middle with a pen.

Its ink

Was my grandfather’s blood.

How easy it was for them

To put a hand into our home

And pull out the honeycomb, still sticky with our pride and will and gold.

It is no wonder

The bees learned how to sting.

– I wish we had learned too.

On Korean | Poetry

it rolls off the tongue like

honey drips from the hive

like it was meant to be there

sentences strung sideways

and backwards

foreign to my mind yet familiar to my heart

a single word conveying all of my

happiness

love

anger

fear

yet there is no one to hear

Quest | Poetry

plane tickets, cities coloured on a map,

a promise made in our youth,

a whim,

a business deal,

a passing word on the sidewalk

between strangers –

this is how our quest

begins

Butterflies I | Poetry

The butterflies in my stomach

Have wing-beats like hurricanes.

My eardrums feel thunder-struck

As the echo remains.

 

Sometimes the pressure is so high

You could shove your hand

Down my throat and

Pull out diamonds.