Desperately clutching a hope that proved false,
face contorted into a smile like a
wilting lycoris as words landed
with a heavy blow to the gut…
Organs were compressed tightly against the
rib cage, constricting breaths. Rage
ignited and bloomed
like a fiery rose,
its thorns tearing through the insides…
As quickly as it bloomed,
it withered away.
Walking into a minefield blindfolded
convinced it is safe.
Gulping down sweet poison
convinced it is bliss.
Unfocused, and yet remaining fixated on
numerous distractions while dancing and
crying on the tip of a
Screams of the wretched
echoed in ears; head throbbed and lingered
like a hollow gun barrel
pointed aimlessly. Heart-wrenching
screams pierced through as claws dug into throat.
It wasn’t the ire I couldn’t withstand,
but the weight of the poisonous butterflies
that sunk deeper and deeper into my stomach,
wrenching my heart.
Other gardens are cultivated
with blooming flowers filled with vibrant colours,
while my heart and roses are eaten by aphids
withering in the shadow of neglectance.
Pacing around restlessly, the soft carpet fibres
were trampled into twisted knots
and flattened trails. Memory reel rolled,
rewinding and replaying…
Wish the three sisters could rewind their thread
to make up for past deeds.
Words with broken wings
tumbled out of mouth; while beautiful phrases
that yearned to be expressed soared
beyond reach. Prayed for the sharp blade
to sever tongue and feed it
to the dogs, so the blood would purge
Begging for sleep: dried tears on parched eyes
and cracked lips. Drained,
to the point where hallucinations in the dark
came to light. Like having blood
drained through neck, no words crept out,
for lips were sewn shut / by an iron thread
Distant memories floated before disintegrated
and were swept away by the wind. Although the lake
in the mindless desert proved a mirage, solace
was found within the shade
of the desert sage.
Written by Vanessa Li and edited by Josephine Sim. Published on 9/7/2023. Art by Emma Li.