I was anxious
when I was told to come see you—
anxieties many say I shouldn't have felt
had I been with “the right one”.
Its burning and bleeding dry
So near, yet so farfetched the cry.
Bantering, whom to blame
Helplessly watching the flame
In the name of Saffron and Green
Hues of Rainbow in between
my golden queer ways leave prints
for them to come
my sensitive perky breasts,
have now pointed to the sun
It feels like I’m reading a sign at the train station, This can’t be me, can it?
Buried under those fluorescent-dyed teddy bears, I’m the shiny little one in the corner,
Maybe this time it’ll be my turn.
Poetry with a voice is everlasting. So, I reached out to 6 young queer poets from Southeast Asia to ask them what poetry meant to them, and how their words mark their resistance.
Defenceless against a civil war
A pool of memories empties over
Each corner, ceiling, cleavage cut open
Your grateful smile, a touch and
A playful chuckle that colours,
Here, manifests itself on a 2 am shadow
A still fan, dropping lights
And frozen fires.
The moods of her hair
The moves of her lips
The bites of her lips
The touch of her toes
Does she know what she makes me feel?
Char of my burnt heart—
Makes watery her eyes
Tears skittering down on her hot cheeks
I long to but cannot wipe
The skin experts say to leave the pimple alone
But I was sure she knew better
The third time she said
I walked around like a leprosy patient
‘With all that on your face’
Momentarily shaken, out of
This haze. Drugged by your love.
Your previously sceptical voice:
"You want me so bad,"accepting.
learning the existence
can change lives and the life
You just smile at your father when
He does something kind
And say, “Papa I want a man
Who is as caring as you!”
All I wanted was to drop to my knees
Put her body on the altar and revere her.
Trace those veins I see on her neck
See which terrains they lead my fingers to.
When I kissed her, she didn’t feel any different? It didn’t feel like I was kissing a girl, not a boy.
I wish I could be as bold as you,
Scream as coherently as you,
But all I have is a wave of volcanic anger
Trapped in the closet of my heart.
Those who have perfected the art of grieving
will burnish their loss with tears
till it is shiny and reflective. Something to sit in a collection.
Cages of patriarchy
Bias, gender norms of society,
The institutionalised oppression
Of our challenging beauty.
Yes, I will always be a bisexual
Like you will always be heterosexual
In that you won’t act out on your attraction
Towards another woman
And will respect us
For as long as we both shall live
One night and one conversation
I'd ask you if you loved me
when you were sober
i want the aesthetic of your femme presentation
i want your top vs. bottom
i want your queer vs. woman