Author: Emily Mary Chin

Feels

I like words and how they communicate feeling but there are some feelings you can only communicate by touch; like the feeling I get from playing with your hair when your hands are too busy to humour me – or how your body always curves so perfectly into mine as if we were once two halves of the same whole. But I have no words to describe the ones you take from my mouth when you tell me we’ve been living in a haze; even with all the pretty words that I’ve learned to string together, I still have no words for this feeling.

What You Take From Them

I hear you lingering outside my door and I wonder: how much of your life have I stolen from you in all the times you’ve had to worry about me? Are there dreams you’ve let die to keep me alive? Did you shut yourself off in hopes of opening me up? If they gave you the world, would you give it up to stay? What else did you give up? What else are you going to have to? Will our world ever extend outside of me, or are you stuck with me forever? You always talk about the magic of watching your kids grow, but what’s the word to describe the light that leave your parents’ eyes, gradually, over time, as they try to fill yours?

This May be Wishful Thinking

…but maybe one day I’ll be able to look down at my hands and see hands instead of pointed fingers.I’ll look in the mirror and instead of fingerprints and bruised skin, I will see my body for all the wild it has survived. Every time he walks by with his world so barely touched, I won’t shrink for him, no, not me, I won’t shrink for him, not this time. I mean, I may not stand too tall or maybe not even at all but he won’t be able to miss the lights under my skin, still twinkling where he used to crawl, he won’t be shaking me of this worth I scratched and climbed my way to build, and he for sure won’t miss these medals now wrapped around my neck, engraved– THIS USED TO BE HIS HANDS.

Dirty

It’s not me, it’s you. Tell me when will you stop blaming the length of my skirt for the courage of your hands? One day, you’ll have to take a break from looking through my shirt and maybe look deeper through my chest instead – look and maybe find all of the mess you’ve left behind. I would have thought that day was yesterday but I forgot how tightly daddy taught his boys to cling to their ideals. Wait – I’m getting mixed up with all the boys through the years that have taken the liberty to make themselves comfortable under my shirt. Who is it this time? Doesn’t really matter. Doesn’t matter if you’re high or half asleep in their bed, doesn’t matter if you’re home and awake, tucked safely in your bed – there’s always someone waiting in line ready to break what feels safe. But I guess I should stop before I roll too much dust on your crisp, clean shirts but I can’t be the one holding on to this dirty …

I Thought It Was Over

…but I should have known better than to think I could so easily forget what used to all consume me. Used to. Even my pen runs dry from the lie between those words. It reads of a past still rooted in the present but I’m not sure that I really know the difference. Question, does one ever really change or do we just keep finding new ways to stay stuck in the same loops? What I’m asking is, is it just me or does this all just feel like too much? What (I think) I’m really asking is, am I the only one here that’s lost control?

Wild

In my wildest dreams, I see a ship in the middle of the sea – waves crash, violence comes to a head in the middle of the sea; they shake at the foundation of this ship and this ship, it quivers back in response. Lights dim and flicker as thunder and lightning crash above, winds whistle and howl down my spine as they shiver up its hallways; but walk down one hallway and there is a bench, and on that bench I sit and I wait and I sit and I wait because I know, I know you’ll find me there, I know you’ll always find me, but only in my wildest dreams.

Boy

I wonder if it would have been different had I known better, would I still be here spinning circles with you? Not that I mind – not that I’ve ever wanted to be anywhere but with you, never wanted anywhere but you. And I’ve tried running in every direction, looking for true north in a different place, a different body, a different someone that wasn’t you – but I couldn’t, I couldn’t find a different center, a different home in a different embrace; I couldn’t find another boy quite like the one I was trying so hard to replace. Because that’s all it was in the end, a boy, that’s all it ever was about.

There

The first time I saw you after a year of drought, we fell asleep on my sofa and I dreamt that we had never been apart, that we had chosen each other, that we had escaped through the cracks straight underwater and somehow found a better way to breathe. There, time didn’t matter because there, time didn’t exist; there, I could spend whole days wasted in your bed and they would never be a waste. There, I could walk up to the walls of your mind and a doorway would open up for me, as it always used to. I would stay there with you if I could, I could keep swimming forever but when I wake up on my sofa, you’re not there.