This is a gallery of not my best works, and for that I am proud.


I have clicked and trekked into a false container of your stories, stories I had much preferred to hear from you. I know it may not be what I hope, but I hope for you in the same way that I dream that you hope for me.


Let’s write together. Let’s you and I come back beyond, forgetting all but this company. I’ll find the words for your tales, you color my rhythms. Write with me; you’re right with me.


There is a mildly hollow feeling that comes with remembering the unlikeliness of maybes. Chin up, darling. We’ll try again tomorrow.


Sometimes, a chat in the wee hours is the very thing you didn’t know you needed.


I am twiddling thumbs for two: one for almost-love and one for almost-madness. I cannot promise to indulge in neither.

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Without poetic excuses, these stories are told too late (as truths often are).


There are large yellow bruises on my thighs and large purple scabs on my soul. Most people don’t see either one.


I thought I had perfected the art of letting go, but years later I realize there was a piece of someone I’d kept this whole time because it looked so much like it was mine.


I once believed I was lonely enough to not care which star would fall for my dreams, so long as my dreams come true. But we all know by now how I fell instead for your persimmon pulse of light and shattered into tiny mismatched constellations. Many have since fallen, promising to grant my wishes with their violet, their blue, their grey-green glows. But they barely look like light at all to me. Not once since yours faded from my fingers.


A mist escaped from his lips and he rubbed his palms together. I’d found him snuggled up to himself outside the locked doors of the cafe. It was two twenty-eight in the morning and he’d forgotten everything again. Ran away in a fit of confusion and even bruised his knee. What warms and wonders me is how, despite forgetting my face at least six times a day, he has not once forgotten how to find his way to me.

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The first sight I had of you was unremarkable (but that’s no way to begin a love letter). I hope you don’t believe in grand beginnings, because then I have lost all hope with you. No, the first thing I noticed was the bright blue cover of the book in your hands. You were reading my favorite book. (Two important things.) And then I unraveled you for the rest of the afternoon. You were sitting along in a coffee shop on a Sunday afternoon, alternating between writing, sketching and painting. Your hair was unapologetically honest, your grey hoodie comfortable and sure. A pile of notebooks and pens lived in your bag and you offered your reasons to no one. And this is how you spend your Sunday afternoons. I feel bound to see more.


4:42 AM, and I wish I could tell them. Sometimes you lose your way, you lose a feeling, you lose a lot of things and your have to let go.

8:44 AM, and not much saner than I was at 4:42.


Would you ever dare say that the insignificant is significant? Would you be lying to yourself? Yes, there is truth in your auburn brown strands falling over your eyes. There is truth in your lowered gaze and your fair composure. But the lie is in the smiles we didn’t share, the ones that stalk me now. For in tiny repetitions you became my one resonating sound.


If you say something enough times, it loses its meaning. And when you neglect a story long enough, it slowly forgets itself. My favorite tale was whispered to me recently: one of “I love yous” and no replies, and “It’s okays” and no white lies. I thought selflessness was extinct, but it exists. It was my lullaby last night and I slept tucked in hope. It exists.


I read my thoughts from months ago and I found one light: I want someone to surprise me. Whenever I have fallen in love it was always sudden and shattering. My heart is always kidnapped, rarely won. I never earned so much a glance, but I was won. You won me, and you don’t even want me.


So close, aren’t we? You’ve never crawled closer, I’ve never cracked quicker. Wait– I’m shaken, anywhere you aren’t. Whispers, (we were almost there.)


Dampen the surface before you trust the color to find its place. And when you trust, trust as the color settles down: never to be displaced.


I don’t let people go because it’s right or necessary. I let them go because I realize they faded long ago and I was gripping ghosts and fingerprints.


I will forgive myself for loving you slowly.
So when it is time to go I will let you leave slowly.


I’m filled with a nearly physical pang of nostalgia for things long gone, things I threw away with the conviction that it was the right thing to do.

I am desperate for them now.

I am missing old colors, old words, old pictures, old patterns. Here is a list of all I have left:

* a shirt
* a drawing pad
* unresolved feelings
* a few fading memoirs
* and ghosts


So why am I here and why am I thinking of you? I will play the game of repetition with nostalgia, saying the word over and over until it no longer means anything.


I wrote you a song with the words all wrong, your reply was a thin red line drawn on the knuckles of your hands. I gave you a name I didn’t believe in, and did that mean anything to you?


Whispers, have been writing again in secret places because honesty is not for everybody. (Love’s too difficult with you. How do you know when it’s over?) Dare I conclude that there are people craving for brutal honesty?


Freddie, my Freddie. A love that dared to escort his queen out of her personal darkness, to trot around like he had fought for her all year and nothing could make him lose her now.


I know you have forgiven me. But I am my own demon.

I want to be bright and brilliant and unforgettable. But I am far too sad to be anything but dull.


Old places, I remember, ghosts.
T-shirts, bright lights, ghosts.
Kisses, smiles, you.
My ghost.


There is this song that plays and paints these tiny tiny smiles on me. It was drawn across your wall in large blue cursive, and the sound stung my veins. I have since remembered it as I remember you: with sunshine and tiny tiny smiles.


It is the living, they say, that choose to be haunted. And when they told me that I at once fell back into your collapse and could not leave. But this is the last time ever again.


I have burnt the harbor and blocked all the ports, but you still keep finding ways to leave me.


I jumped in order to forget what we all long for, and now I’m the stranger. They say you forget as you pretend, but you cling to midnights spent with songs that remind me of you. I wonder how long it takes to remember you are no longer here.


I have always shut my eyes and made you up beside me when nothing else could work.


You are my bright lights, my meteor, my music, my poem. I won’t tell you so you’ll never have to forget.

Flaws and failures, forgive me.


I am lounging on a narrow pier and this beautiful boy is in the water calling out to me. The strangers and their catcalls are flimsy and bearable, but that half-annoying half-smirk! I cannot stand this missing and this teasing, and the ocean looks terribly grey. But with unfamiliar abandon I have plunged in and he is laughing at me, that formidable a*hole. He shakes his head at me while his deep, deep eyes try to drown me. All too easily he holds me close and I realize I was mistaken: the water is wonderful and blue.


One: I didn’t even like you. You could have been her brother if it weren’t for the way she kissed you.

Two: Did you ever say a word to me?

Three: I know you know things. Do you know it drives me crazy not to know?

Four: An arm or two. Never me, never you.

Five: You shouldn’t have done that. I take it back.

Six: From the corner of my eyes, with your back turned to me. Don’t hold her so tightly, you might break me.

Seven: Nineteen lights, and none for us.

Eight: Yes, I remember.

Nine: No, I will not say.

Ten: Please, I don’t think I can lose you one more time.


A year without you will be longer than three years in your light. If only I could love you and still be selfish. But the heart refuses to be conquered. It will go quickly, I just don’t know where to. I will miss this moment, I just won’t remember it. People who say life is long: I wonder what they fill their days with, if they do at all.


Where there used to be an icy breeze, the wind has stilled into stone. The warmth is doubted for now, only for now. If conscience exists, it can be eroded. Someone once told me that if you give up pain, you give up pleasure too. But we won’t have that problem here.


Did anything happen today? When a question is a struggle to answer, I’ve been told, it’s possibly most worth answering. The hardest part was giving you away. It happened today. It happens everyday.


It had been raining for hours, but we still hadn’t gotten quite used to the sound. The window was so foggy, we could barely distinguish one color from another. A gentle chill settled in the room. I felt a shuffle on the bed behind me and I smiled. I dared not move the rest of my body.


I woke up around 6 a.m. to my alarm. So many things to do today. I vaguely wondered about the ratio of people waking up happy to unhappy today. Was there a way to count that?

On the kitchen counter stood a very large bouquet of pink roses, a card dangling from the wrapping. “Had to leave early for work, but I’ll pick you up at 7 for dinner.” I rolled my eyes as my heart curled into a ball. The longer I stay with this boy, the less I see the line between apologies and romance. 7 it is.

I draw open the curtains to the living room and the shops across the street greet me with large, glaring hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day.


Fibs and hopes for breakfast, empty promises for lunch, intimacy for dinner, and stolen conversations for midnight.


On Sunday mornings I take two trains and a short walk to a tiny cafe a town or two away. I spend roughly six hours here. Sometimes I finish the book I’m reading, or sometimes I start a new story. One: Without my Sunday afternoons I cannot look the world in the eye come Monday. Two: I never bring any work to do, for school or the magazine I write to. Three: I have never finished a story in the cafe.

The third Sunday of March, I had just left the second train and there were more people than usual in the marketplace I pass by. Curious, I followed the crowd to a large grey building on the edge of the market. It had been empty and unused for as long as I’ve known, and so seeing it surrounded by people was a strange sight. I felt like something in my home was rearranged by a ghost.

I didn’t need to come close to see it: a large portrait of a woman was spray-painted onto the wall in a rainbow gradient. Her hair flowed down to her shoulders, and her eyes were lifted upward and laughing. Her lips curved up perfectly and she had a beauty mark at the top corner. This is how a man might see his lover.

But nobody could see the portrait the way that I did. I drew out a gasp, but the air seemed to have left my lungs.

That was me.


Different ways you can stop being my ghost:
2. You call me this weekend and tell me I haunt you too.


Are you a tree? Steady, strong and quiet; so deeply rooted in your earth that not even falling for the wind could whisk you away. Yes, you are a tree. Once I loved you for it. Then I lost you to it.


If I could invent a memory in our minds, I would write it to be one day where you found the other world you used to dream about; the one where you are king. The day would be the morning after that last night, and the feeling would be wordless, endless glory. The consequences would be few, now that you are mine and I am yours. In this memory, I will stop losing you over and over again; because after this day, I will remember nothing else.


Things I love about rainy days:
* Blankets and sweaters are required.
* Everything is more colorful (if you know where to look)
* Proverbial “cuddle weather”
* Hot chocolate, coffee and tea taste hundreds of times better
* Even the dog feels like sleeping in
* Everyone understands if you’d rather stay at home
* The sea of umbrellas
* Hundreds of new poems are being written as it pours
* People are forced to be powerless and, therefore, human


How many times must you break me?
(I forgot what I was looking for and now it’s gone.)


I dreamed a lover lost, walking away from me slowly and with a smile on his face. He promised I will be okay. Visit me again and often, my very own someone like you.


I am miscommunication, I am red scars under your sleeve and I am burned love letters. I am misconnection, I am wrong turns, red wires in blue switches, I am miles of road in the rain. I am anything but missed.


I’ve forgotten full sentences, I end paragraphs in hyphens, I am collapsible, I make sense sometimes. How do you forget how to talk to someone you once told everything to?


You were temporary euphoria but I wanted beautiful words etched in sterling.


Alin ang mas nakakapagod: maging tao o magmahal ng tao?


The truth, I think, is that my world ends every day I wake up and remember that you are no longer here.


The haunting is always there, but sometimes the ghosts come too close. Every vibration nudges me closer to the edge.

Are you okay?
Are you okay?

Now I know: I don’t haunt you too.

If you listen closely, aren’t the silences stories too?


I’ve grown mediocre with trying, and comfortable with making up for the gaps between my paragraphs. The letters unhook themselves from one another and toss me into a downward hurricane.


There is no losing here. There is nothing to lose when there is not much to gain. Kindness is valuable when there is sadness on your back, feeding on you like a demon. There is no winning here. You will not disappear.


I am being spat out by sin, and grace is calling me to have its fill.


This day resounds with fear for you, and shivers with rush for the ending. This day is the last day and all will be well soon.


A day, a day, to make up for lost weeks. Give me a day and I will emerge to try again.


He was a dark and stormy knight, of swallowed evils and survivals. He lives; I don’t think he thrives.


Sometimes a song plays and reminds you of things, of feelings you didn’t realize you’d forgotten. Lifetimes later, the music has stopped and it’s still all you think about. Other melodies have danced and other notes have sung, but your heart is stuck striking that same chord. It’s always that song. It’s always you.


I was lost once. I did things once. I needed to get by. The scars were strapped to my nerves when he found them, shared them. He said that thoughts were chained to him with cotton strings shades lighter than the human eye could perceive. She wrote of trials she barely survived. You can sleep now and not be afraid to shiver. I am stronger than your demons.


Two trains and a long walk away, I end months of waiting. I trust no one with my voice, not even myself, and I look no one in the eye. Men tell me to take care — perhaps I look like someone’s daughter — and children beg for food and coins. I cross an ocean of hollow worlds and wonder why I do what I do. I wonder if I love or if I am just selfish. I wonder; I wander.


I tried to drown my sadness by letting it live. But it has only forced me to look at myself, and that is not the best of questions. People are the biggest mysteries because they change as soon as they are solved.



“This is not me, this is not who I am.” To say the skies were overcast is oversaid, but the storms were looming in places too far away for us to tell. “I’m sorry, you have mistaken me for someone else.” In the corner of the shack, a hole in the roof dripped rain water onto a silver puddle. I remember we have heard this melody before. But, as a lullaby, it endears rather than frightens.

I am not deaf. I hear them screaming, even when they are on opposite ends and staring at their severed ties. But all your stories are overheard and undertold. You ask, where are we? We are on a dark grey cloud worlds away from comfort. I ask, is that alright?

You do not speak, you do not move. I know your spirit has withered with time.


Is it strange that I love to watch her laugh? She speaks over the counter, her name changing every time, determined to be a mystery. I wonder if she can remember who she really is. I wonder if she knows that I can never forget.

When the rain crashes out the open window, she turns to stare and get lost in the storm. Is it strange that I believe, to get lost in her sight could be the only way that I am found?

* * *

If you have a favorite (story, style, word, or feeling), I’d love to know! :)  Thank you for reading.

Perhaps they are not what you think they are.


I wake up to an early morning aurora of colors, a phantasmagoria of hues, if you may. Today, I breathe in the medleys, I breathe in you, and not much else. You fell asleep as I fell asleep, embracing a pseudo-us and choosing to meet you in a half-lighted dream. I understand that we are complex; we are sentences and we are shifting glows of light. I have lost my ability to write short lines, when there are so many new colors to name. Let me try.

Purples are greens that are finding their way.
Morning light is a pixie ball’s glitter.
I’d kiss you if you promise not to wake yet.
We are more than shadowed dreams.
Look; I am still here.


“There is something to be said about trying,” she said, watching the people come in. The rustling grew louder. “There is something to be said about fear.”

The girls nearby were gossiping. She heard no words, but she felt their excitement. Despite the strange packaging, stories were stories.

The exercise was to write yourself into a story without becoming the story. Be the hero without winning. Be hurt without dying. And send yourself out to be loved.

A boy, red hair with freckles, raised his hand. “What if no one takes us?”

The proctor laughed. “Then look again. You’ll realize you were wrong.”


The months of the year have probabilities. August always brings some surprise or the other, October feels a bit like hope, and December feels like time standing still. And January — January almost always feels sad.  There’s something heavy or cold, like a very small ice flower bloomed inside my chest and grew and grew and grew.

It’s no different this year. I have been let down, I have broken down, I have been found, lost again, or swirled all around a proverbial whirlpool of bad weight. There is not enough room in my glass lungs, clumsy hands. In my determination to be strong, everyone (including I) forget how fragile I can be, and trust me to put myself together when I fall apart.

And I can. But the thing about learning to depend on yourself is realizing you can’t trust anyone to fix you for you anymore. They are angry with you for locking them out, and angry with you for locking them in. There is not enough room in my feather heart, burning eyes.


He looked at me straight in the eyes and made his offer: he could save me. I wasn’t ready for this. I thought that we were made of apologies and golden expectations, not whispers and thanks. I didn’t even notice how easy it was to deny something if you were positive it would never be yours. It’s uncanny how absent-minded our dreams can be. I shook my head. I’m fine.


This world is made up of good things and bad things. We learn that early on. One thing we are almost never taught is how to tell between the two.

Love, a good thing.
Ache, a bad thing.
Friends, a good thing.
Lies, a bad thing.

I’ve played this game. I’ve been on both ends. I’ve asked children to tell me what it means to be good.

Wings: good things for youth, bad things for elders.
Secrets: good things among friends, bad things between them.
Smiles: good things for the lonely, bad things for the insane.

What about you? Where in the universe could I possibly put you?


Nearly four years later and I still don’t know why you loved me. I had the words prepared for this, but your lips steal them from me once more. (Your favorite thing about me was my smile.) Words in ink scare most people away, but you wanted each drop in place. You were wrong for me because you shook my very foundations. I can’t be trusted with great love. I might rule the world with it.


I have not been to every one of your shows. I have not heard your voice enough to memorize it and I don’t remember what you said when you first spoke to me. I wrote you as fiction but you refused to be anything other than my truth — and that is exactly why I feel for you. I lack the words. But I comfort myself with the idea that in another world you are singing for me.


Her smile was crafted carefully by habit, years of faking. When she tells me her stories — how he lied and forgot her and how she became a shadow — I hear a shaky voice, but see a clear, bright smile. I know I always said the sky was a blanket and that the breeze was my solace, but she is inconsolable in secret. There is no other way I could have found her.


He stole a glance. She tried not to shake too much, tried not to forget how to breathe. The pain traveled from her stomach to her chest and spun all around her mind. He had been away for a year or so. Her mind went blank while she shivered and froze. A thousand days ago he was looking into her eyes and shouting her name across the field; she doubted. She ran away. She spelled impossibilities into the rivers. He stole a glance.


It was here, in this very same room. “You’ve told me two lies for every truth, and I don’t remember that part of the game.”

“So you think it’s a game.”

She said nothing, only counted heartbeats under her breath. Finally: “What now?”

Silver slivers in his eyes stared her down. At what point did she lose him?

“Your move.”


Play back the last ten stories, and you’ll know more about me than the next ten weeks of quiet. You don’t remember because you don’t want to remember the things that pull you down. The words are all wrong if they aren’t missing, but I’ll keep going if it’s going somewhere.


A list of strange sensations: free-falling in slow motion, forgetting, following a winding road, playing for food, thinking about what you’re doing, realizing you love someone who does not fit, when days go right, poetry in straight lines, water that tastes dry, remembering, love.


At 9AM you said you’d be there.

10:30, I am uneasy but excited. There is lots to do and I am hopeful.
11:27, the person is early.
12:43, you are late.
2:15, I haven’t heard many laughs in this room in a while. The dark is light, but I am keeping it close, nonetheless.
3:21, where did we get lost?
4:06, I may have forgotten to look for you.
4:28, I ran into our old friends and spent some time looking back, successfully asking nothing about you.
5:33, what if?
7:00, maybe 9AM was a dream.

Warning: fiction and non-fiction will tangle. Don’t twist the spaces in between and don’t take it so personally. I don’t owe anything.


Here it is. Two years later, and I’m still haunted.

The New Year has never held a bigger surprise for me than that, and to this day I still feel the explosion. I remember the suddenness of loss, the split-second spin of the planet upside-down. You bade your first good-bye, quietly, from miles and miles away.

You kissed me in the square room when I was sick. I forget how it felt. But we laughed and you asked and you stuttered and I remember one thing: we were happy.

There was the mad and the sad and the I-don’t-know-just-make-it-stop. A month, or two; was it three? I don’t remember much, but now I know that we were fading then, and you would begin to haunt me. By the time I forgave you, you were long gone. You bade your second good-bye, from miles away. You didn’t say a word.

You kissed me in the shadows at night, once, and not for long. I remember it. What I can’t explain is how I don’t miss your kiss or your hands or your eyes. I miss your words, and I miss my friend.


I have a small body and I’m scared all the time, but if you want to know what I care about, wait for my voice to get big. I’m barely twenty, and I don’t know at what age the world begins to get heavier. I’m pretty sure my heart broke at fifteen. But I’m still here, and I can still love, so perhaps things went better after all. There’s a tattoo on my arm; it doesn’t say anything, but it isn’t permanent. Maybe that says something about me or the person I was when I got it. People say you’re only twenty once. People are wrong. You’re only twenty, three-hundred and sixty-five times, and we forget that. We forget who we are, what we are, because we’re small and scared all the time, but try this: care about something. Because when you care enough, you’ll find that you’re bigger than your body. I did, and I’m barely twenty. I’ll have three hundred and sixty-five chances to be twenty, and maybe I’ll use one of them to be someone who has a tattoo that’s permanent. And maybe I won’t. I’m tired, and I don’t just mean my body; but my heart still works, and I guess that says something about me. Or about hearts. Or about love. Maybe love is permanent. Maybe love is my tattoo.


We fit into each other, quite unexpectedly, like orange and blue, earth and air. A bit strange, but we fit. The honesty was suffocating; we made rules that weren’t necessary, but we wanted to try. You said you knew it was coming, but you held on and saved the blame for me, fingers crossed. No, no, no, darling. I do not hate you. I remember the way your name felt around my lips, I remember the time you lost me in the crowd. You haunt me, with the things we never told each other despite promises of no secrets. I wish I haunted you, too.


In Year One, we went to see the exhibit of secrets. We wondered and pondered what it meant to people to write their secret to the world, nameless. Was it a release, or was it nothing if they didn’t even know it was you? Was this one a joke? Is this one someone we know? Could this be my soul-mate and not know it?

Of course, I had a secret. Of course, I didn’t tell you which one. But it was there, right below your question, my answer: “I still remember.”


The thing is that we’re all a little lost. Some of us want to find ourselves, some of us are trying to.

“Come back. Stay. Please,” you said, not ever.

I think of home, deserted desert, and wonder why you love it so. My fingerprints are still on the wall, my lipstick stain at the edge of the sink, long after she moved in. Your scent is long gone, your shirt buried in forgotten places, and you’ve never once been here, in the city of your dreams.

“Do you miss her?” she never asked.

But we remember, don’t we?



“Are you okay? Is everything alright?”

Dizzying, blurring vision from the leaks on your face, and you choke down the questions.

“What’s happened? Is everything okay?”

I don’t know, I don’t know.
Cold tiles and grass and concrete.
I don’t know.

“Are you lost? Are you sick?”

Maybe, no. Ghosts running through the stone seas and notebooks buried in golden rust.

“Are you alright?”

I forget the question.


We were in the middle of the street, of course, when it began raining. I was in the middle of a yell and you in the middle of a defense. But you pushed me up the sidewalk and told me to run. The nearest inn was a few turns away.

We were in the middle of a war, I think, when it began hurting. I was in the middle of a word and you in the middle of a song. But I pulled you out of your hole and told you to dance. The nearest exit was a lifetime away.

We were in the middle of love, they say, when it ended. Words are drowning and I am lost.


I can write with frozen hands, frozen toes, sometimes a frozen heart (like twinkling icicles, and the cold whisper before it goes numb). But I cannot write with a frozen soul.

I can write with empty thoughts, empty pens, empty notebooks. (On the sky, the sand, the rainfall on car windows, and lost boys’ eyes.) But I cannot write with empty chairs. I don’t know where the stories are.


When we meet, it always takes some time to get used to her eyes again. Maybe honesty is easy to forget. Or maybe it’s just her eyes.

(I know her stories come from places after all.)

I ask if she feels everything she writes. She understands. She says I thrive on disturbances. I love the way she says anything. I understand.

(You can’t become my ghost if I can’t lose you.)

People who love me past midnight love me best. Not most, just best. The relief and the laughter were comforting, and I don’t get this honesty from a lot of people.

(No, thank you.)