Passenger Seat

he is leaning from the front passenger seat
silence and stillness, spilling on the street
me, infatuated. mind, intoxicated
his skin, illuminated
by the warm streetlight glow
fuck Maslow, honestly
love should be further down the hierarchy
how can this not be a physiological need?
love is illogical, guaranteed
pale irises, dark lashes and oversized glasses
everything about him, infringing on my sanity
forgive the profanity
but fuck this, fuck resisting
every wire in my body
and if hellfire is my penalty, then God, He
can personally escort me to the gates
because me and this guy right here,
we’re soulmates.


Ariadne’s Thread

what if the universe
could reveal itself to us
with a pull of a strand
its mysteries unravelling
like a worn sweater
our unspooled pasts behind us
like Ariadne’s red thread
marking the path
through this labyrinth


Wendy Darling asked where he lived
second star to the right, said Peter
and straight on till morning

once upon a time
in a nightgown adventure
a medley of fluttering fairy smiles
blue velvet dreams, and pirates by the shore
we believed that all anyone could need
were faith, trust and pixie dust
we stitch shadows to our feet, to remind us
of who we are without light

and the years after, we waited
our heads, resting on windowsills
we mapped the path between the stars
and during our long starlit vigil
we dreamt of you, Peter
of the twinkle in your eyes
as if they were the point on which
all the universe revolved

there will come a time
when we all fall victim to chronology
when Tiger Lily will have to hang her
dreams next to business suits on hooks
when the Lost Boys are all men now
hand over their still stargazing souls
into the claws of a corporation
swim with sharks until they drown

the villain will look different now
he has traded his eye-patch,
his flying pirate ship and his metal hook
for a business suit and a microphone
but he is still the same man behind this façade
the same fire in his heart
still spiteful, still angry, still afraid
of little boys and girls
and he will scatter bombs like fairy dust
over their rooftops

they will tell us to be realistic
this will hurt
because when we were children
they told us to dream big
they told us that the world is at our feet
only to rip our shadows from beneath us

so when one day, you realize
your shadow has vanished, Peter
please do not come looking
you won’t find me
because this Wendy Darling has left her
childhood in the gilded cages of her past
you won’t recognize her anymore

Places I Avoid

Rush hour traffic
Pot holes
Window seats
Vitriolic comment sections
Abandoned parking lots
Overpriced restaurants
The route to your house
Fast lanes
My hometown
The local library
Cracks in the pavement
The intersection in Venn diagrams
Rain puddles
Prayer mats
The patches of skin where your hand once was
The small of my back
My palm
My fingers
And the spaces in between
A crime scene

Crevasse To A Fault Line

For my cousin, Dhia

this is for the day
you discovered
bones aren’t the only things that break
like fog melting into asphalt
he disappeared into the night
a father, more ghost than flesh
his mouth, a revolver
the sound of gunshot, your nursery rhyme
after he left
a crack worked its way
up the living room wall
from a hairline fracture
to a crevasse, to a fault line
and your mother would tell you
not to worry, as she often does
and you hope for her sake that
this house is stronger
than the two of you
but you still ask yourself:
how long before the cement
finally gives way
before the floodgates open and
these bones are mended
but how do you heal
if they are no entry wounds
how do you bury the dead
when there is no body
only a broken rib
a collapsed lung and
a hunger for air


You will never forget the way he smelled, like tangerines in the summer. Even years later, you would catch yourself thinking about the stolen glances in school corridors. You found his laugh in a boy in Bucharest. His particular shade of blonde in a girl you met on the train once. You, always piecing together the fragments of your past, each cobbled together. A mosaic— indecipherable, incomplete. You, always wondering when the final piece would wash ashore.

Domino Dancing

I write her and write her
sometimes she is a victim of war
a divorcee
an unemployed 27-year-old
a suicidal magician
sometimes she is a ghost that haunts the story
but always a dysfunctional family
always lost
never a happy ending
I build her and build her
like pieces of dominoes but
however elaborate I try to assemble her
demolishing everything she stands for
is far more gratifying