What do you and the sea have in common?

Every single day, I open my Word file, waiting for the words to come. A poem is burning to be born, but I cannot begin to tell my fingers to type.

I used to swim in oceans so deep, so full of stories about love. That was, until, I screamed. To you. For help. The water filled my lungs and the very water that I created choked me and cut the very air I breathed and you? You did nothing to save me. I came up to the surface instead, got drunk in a liquor called music, and laid wasted in a beach full of art until the sun came up. That first night, I tried to wipe myself dry by jumping around the island, shaking every droplet of you into every leaf that needed you more than I did.

The next few days were peaceful. I simply stared into the sea that used to be me. Sometimes I would come up to the shore and feel the shallow water wash my feet, reminding me of how much I used to love you.

Ah, but did I love you? When the waves left and the water crept into my ankles, was it you whom I missed? Or was it the poems I’ve written? The words I can’t seem to find now?

I am afraid of drowning into another sea of poems, because as I forget how to breathe, as my hearts unevenly, I see nothing but your face – the inspiration to every letter I have ever written, to every sonnet, every paragraph.

I dig my feet hard into the sand, gritting as I force myself to forget the feel of the cool water on my soles. Being stuck on land, surrounded by you – or, remnants of you – I curse myself. Why can’t I have thrown the poems to the sky and turned them into stars? It would have been easier to avoid. I can always live looking down. Why must I have condensed my words into water? Being in an island surrounded by you, too afraid to swim in you, too afraid to drink you in.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to relish in how my every word of you bathed me, embraced me, nourished me, like an infant in a mother’s womb. I swam deep into the idea of your existence. I lived to see every flawed coral living inside you, every living school of fish spinning around you. I loved it. I loved you – or, the idea of you.

Here I am now, alone in this island. Nowhere to go, no one to go to. The worst part is that you are all I see – just a vast stretch of ocean full of what we were, and what we could have been.

I am 70 percent filled of you, and the 30 percent in me hates it. It tries to pull out every ounce of you through the tears ducts in my eyes, one drop at a time. Yet, no matter how much I cry, you are a part of my survival, and I have no choice but to let you back in. I drink you in tentatively, afraid that the way my breath stutters at the thought of you will make the water travel in the wrong pipe.

Here I am now, alone in this planet. Nowhere to go, no one to go to. And I’m writing this poem, taking a sip of you once again. I am 70 percent filled of you, and I cry you out, but drink you in again. Maybe I was never made to live in an ocean full of you. Maybe . You were made to pour yourself into the world, and I was made to beg for the little that you could give.

But every day, I open my Word file, waiting for the words to come. And it comes in tiny droplets.



What do you and the sea have in common?

To the Tissue Papers in this Watercolor World


We each have our own roles. The palettes provide color. The paintbrushes create the image. The hand guides the paintbrush. The water aids the process.

But we? We are the tissue paper in this watercolor world. The ones that that clean the mess created by the paintbrushes. The ones who gulp in the excess water. The backstage crew, the janitors, the underrated member.

A painting can survive without tissue paper. Tissue paper is just needed for one specific technique, anyway. But a painting cannot survive without the palettes, the paintbrushes, the water.

We are the tissue paper in this watercolor world, and with every droplet that we absorb, we become one step closer to breaking.

We are the tissue paper in this watercolor world. Not always important, not always needed. The second-class canvass, that at the end of the day, will be thrown away.

But no matter what is said about us, we enjoy each mistake we absorb. The clash of vibrant colors on my skin go unnoticed by the hand too focused on the masterpiece.

However, unlike the painting, my existence does not exist solely on the artist’s image. I am free from scrutiny, free to embrace every hue that comes my away, and free to never let go of any one of them.

We may be trash in your eyes, but art is art, and




To the Tissue Papers in this Watercolor World

“No. Don’t.”

It is what you utter breathlessly in between laughs as he tickles your insides.
“No, don’t!”

It is what you mouth soundlessly as he closes the door behind him.
“N…o. Don’t.”

It is what you scream loudly as you watched him get shot.
“No- don’t!”

It is what you whisper tiredly as regret wraps its arms around you.
“No… don’t.”

It is what you shout defiantly at depression as it tries to drown you during your sleep.
“No. DON’T.”

It is helplessness. It is denial. It is painful to say, and all the more painful to hear.

But it is also what you say as you notice the new guy checking you out.

It is what you mutter as you realize he’s falling for you.

“Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.”

“No. Don’t.”

Day 18: Indak by Up Dharma Down

She was lazy Sunday afternoons spent on art museums, she was chill Friday nights on Spoken Word poetry. We met under peculiar circumstances, and we almost never did. We’ve never been affectionate towards each other, perhaps because we respected the rule of never touching masterpieces. We made up for awkward silences, filling the air with enthusiasm over our crushes. We had a silent agreement never to mention all the promises we’ve already broken. She was a metaphor caged around expectations on things she never loved. She was an explorer, discovering new forms of art to delve herself into. She was, however, too temporary. She loves photography one day, and film making the next. And in the dark silence, under the moonlight, we talked under hushed voices, too afraid to wake up the monsters we’ve both come to terms with. I was her confidante, and until now, I have no idea why.

Day 18: Indak by Up Dharma Down

Day 17: Oceans by Hillsong United

He was sunsets on beaches, and ocean waves at night. He was serenity, humanized. Every cell in his body, every beat of his heart, resonated with the ebb and flow of the sea. He was guitar strings echoing in a silent room, the burning bush Moses found in the cave – glowing sotfly with contentment and hope. He was pure white, innocent and childish, and I have marred him with a broken friendship, because he saw my dull grey, and thought it to be a mistake that needed to be corrected rather than forgiven. As if my flaws had to be cleansed, as if people were made to be perfect. It was then that I decided that white was not the color for me, the sight of sunset on beaches was a miracle too precious to be beheld by a pair of mortal eyes like mine, and the sound of ocean waves at night had to be drowned by the drums of self-determination – every beat defying the change that he wanted from me, every rythm resonating the words, “no, this is me, I will not change”.  And so, like oil and water, nature gave way and drifted us apart. Differences in opinions have led us to different paths, yet I will not forget. The little I was able to salvage, I kept close to my heart. The fact that my time with the ocean was so little made every second my feet touched the sea all the more valuable.

Day 17: Oceans by Hillsong United

Day 15: Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root

You can count on him to have the grooviest dance moves during every party, and he has the loudest laugh you’ll ever hear. He’s the comedian in every gathering, and his best joke? Himself. To be honest, he was a ball of anxiety and self-doubt, and his grooviest dance moves were just socially acceptable ways of slamming his body to the floor. He is the subtle frown in confusion, the silent way his eyes calculated a problem, the small twitch of his lips in dismay. And I’ve always been unsure if I preferred seeing him in such a fashion, rather than the facade he’s always showing, when seeing him in such a state has made his vulnerable expressions imprinted at the back of my mind. But the fact that only I have ever seen him on the other side of this spectrum showed the amount of trust he’s given to me. So here we both were – dancing, it would seem, to most people. When really, we were just gripping tight to each other as we allowed our bodies to thrash around the air. We see through each others’ facade, and it is both a burden we have to carry, and a secret we were willing to keep.

Day 15: Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root

Day 5: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees

She was pink lipstick and mascara-filled eyes. A fine nose, a high-pitched voice. She had a mind so intricate, so filled with flowery words used to playing sweet melodies of poetry. She was a helium-filled balloon; holding her hand made me feel like a child for even a little while longer. And together, with eyes on each other, we flew. We talked of cotton candy clouds and a glitter-filled jars, for days and days on end. But before I knew it, she burst into nothingness and left me hanging in the air. For the first time ever, the sensation of falling filled me, mind and soul. Yet if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have known that I was capable of flying in thin air on my own. She was an angel, and it took me longer than I should have to realize that, so was I. She was a breath of cold air, and though, for a while, the thought of her chilled me down to the bones, she is now naught but a gust of wind – pleasant, smooth, calming. And in a storm of harsh words and even harsher people, I look up to the sky and thank her silently for making me see naught but cotton candy clouds.

Day 5: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees