my feet relentlessly insist
on burning themselves
for the sake of summer mood.
i wear a shirt too big for me.
a wear a smile a bit too small.
i wear the worry of my parents on my neck.
i feel their fear
when i smile back at strangers.
i pretend to be the sand that no one can hurt.
i pretend to be the sea that doesn’t end.
i pretend no man in this beautiful scene
would hurt someone like me.
but my feet, they burn, they bleed.
my feet that only wanted freedom
from the moment i was born,
now they make me feel like the mermaid
who was not wise enough.
i feel like i am losing a part of myself
every time a stranger asks for my name,
every time they accidentally touch my skin
to fill me with shame and sin.
i pretend to be cool, to be understanding,
to be blind
as i feel like the monster
that brings out the worst in people.
as i erase my memories everyday
to put faith in people whom i find hard to trust.
The wind is picking up.
The white sand unlike water
sinks everything too slowly.
And so the shade less trees of eucalyptus
become shadows that I learn to love.
They become compass that knows no direction,
but just piece this world to hold,
the silent assurance
that I am not yet lost, though my eyes can’t tell.
The wind is picking up.
In the middle of this small storm,
my careful hands writing the date on black board
suddenly realize the need to be held.
And so I fold and create a crease
on another part of my face-
the part that shows my heart too easily.
Someone yells out my name
and unknowingly they moor me to another violence,
another need that I don’t want to carry in me.
I had too many magazines of glossy paper
with pictures of places better than where I live.
I always bought the one showing better lives.
(what can I possible do or dream with knowing the worse ones)
I would like to say that I remember each beach I saw,
that I remember the colors I never knew sand could take,
that I remember knowing exactly how my footsteps would look like
for they were already there on that foreign land
waiting for me to claim the prints that no one else could take.
But I do not remember all that.
I remember thinking all that, but not what I saw.
Now any picture that I scroll by in seconds
could replace the place that I wanted to see.
That’s probably why I do not bother
with spending my time on images of cheaper paradise
that I now know I cannot walk into just because they exist.
I am a firm believer of words now.
There is a place I read of
and I create it in my mind
particle by particle.
Every place I read is my creation,
that cannot exist without me.
I have all kinds of better world in my mind
and they feel nothing like the ones
I have stopped dreaming about.
“Nothing is built upon the rock, everything upon the sand, but our duty is to build as though the sand were rock.”
– Jorge Luis Borges, “From Fragments of an Apocryphal Evangelist”