I like to imagine that the physical act of racking one’s brain would look and feel something like dislodging the remnants of a sandwich from the roof of your mouth. You thrum thrum thrum against that thick fatty layer of peanut butter with your tongue, panicking in that small dumb way you do, until that ribbed pink flesh is revealed in fits and starts and swaths just as you always knew it would be. And so here I am, curled up on a friend’s futon in Andersonville under a ugly chenille blanket, thrum thrum thrumming to remember a phone number I once knew by heart.

     Esme wakes up around one in the afternoon and asks me if I am okay, which I am not,
and if I remember last night, which I do not.

you showed up unannounced

i figured

you were dressed like you’d mugged a drag queen

sort of figured that too

we went out


14th March


The bed smelled of Ikea meatballs in brown sauce and my brown vagina. The smoke was not letting up and I was drowning on your bed. I looked out of the window after days of not feeling anything other than your cum on my neck. The cum was still there, dried and flaking off as if my skin had claimed it a part of itself. The sun was hitting granite and ‘je me souviens’ on burnt rubber tires, incomplete clouds hid, ashamed of my mouth and breath. Your cum was still on my tongue, in the back and I could taste it in my consciousness and I remembered I didn’t know any words.


You had gone out for a smoke and $2 coffee at the corner depanneur. It was the first time you had left me alone in 8 days. I was scared you had quit smoking and would never leave. You cut my nails before you left so I wouldn’t scratch my throat because I had cried earlier when my face was deep inside your plush mattress. My throat carried your burden separately from my body and I wanted to give you my throat, it had more of you than me. It belonged to you. (more…)

forgotten song

some dreams
are not meant to be held
you were one of those,
but i dream of you still;
even if we are but a distant
reverie of lyric
that slips further into oceans
more and more distant with each
passing day—
you always struck me as otherworldly,
and i longed to be yours;
sweet faerie of the
for you saw my scars and taught me
they were beautiful
not something to be shamed of as i had always
been taught—
you woke the dreaming in me
that i once thought to be
and turned even days of cold painful rain
into melodies of joy;
and i fell in love with you
the love still remains even if now we are only
just fragments of a distant, disjointed
forgotten song.


     When Nenek disappeared, everyone panicked. She simply left for her usual walk and didn’t come back. Mum was beside herself with worry. My aunts basically started calling everybody, demanding, beseeching, begging for her whereabouts.

     Nenek’s memory had been slipping ever since. It started with small things first: forgetting to put certain ingredients in her cooking, misplacing items, mistaking names. She brushed our concern off, saying it was just old age. She hadn’t joined us on our nightly hunts for months. Her joints ached, her fingers stiff. She hated flying for too long.

     She had been such an inspiration for the younger women, my sisters and cousins. We were a big family, yet we often got together for meals. Our blood was thick, our love was thicker. Nenek would cook our favorite food. Rendang. Curries. Even her special rojak which we must have every Saturday. Mum told us that Nenek taught her and her sisters how to sing and hunt. Sniffing out pregnant ladies in the vicinity. Looking for willing men. Mum was distraught that this era – Nenek’s time – was ending. (more…)