written 1st January 2022
This year was made of pride
The quiet kind that knits together wounds
The loud kind that kills a girl in another room
This year I will be running from,
And running to—
Heartburst on repeat and sugar in my mouth. We keep planting trees and trying to give the sky back to ourselves, and to each other. These lines on a map we’ve tried to tame. These ideas we’ve turned into borders (borders closed/borders open/borders closed/borders open/borders broken).
We are nine million doses of courage
We are needles of hope
This year was made of time
The slow kind of time we tried to hoard
The fast kind of time that left no room to mourn
I leave behind.
Today I will be dreaming,
And asking, always asking—
My small bestie checks the weather. My lover and I read the news and laugh at yesterday’s memes. Tangled in sheets beneath an Australian air-conditioner and the weight of unforgotten shame. Neck sticky with cobwebs and sweat. Hands gentle with fear. I ask questions that have no answers. An uncultured laksa simmers in the kitchen. We toss away the rain-ruined cardboard. We toss away the old lies. I serve the laksa hot.
A termite-eaten doghouse falls apart in the backyard.
The man who carries it away closes his eyes.
Today is heavy with dust and heat and hope.
Happy World Poetry Day.
UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.
Poetry has existed on every continent and every culture. Soak it in.