The golden year 

so much promise 

so many plans 

We stood there anxiously anticipating it 

The year of weddings, anniversaries, and 

Large birthday celebrations. Milestones like 

Graduations and finally reuniting with 

Extended family. Every eye was plastered on 

The TV screen watching the countdown that 

Would ring in the New Year. 

Every arm was 

Linked with a loved one’s. 

This was one of the few moments in life 

Where time slows down and you’re completely 

Immersed in the present. Until… 




               Happy New Year! 

Cheerful screams and the sound of glass clinking 

fills the room. Little did we know, that was the only 

golden moment we would have that year. 

The year was full of fear and anguish, 

my father in the hospital fighting for his life 

he could barely breathe and none could visit 

I fell asleep many nights wondering if my 

 sister and I would have to plan a funeral soon. 

Every day the numbers would rise. 

Higher and higher, it was a never ending 

pandemonium. Our homes became our 

prisons and we became more aware of our mortality. Our homes were prisons, 

but they could turn into our tombs. The thought on everyone’s mind was, why did this happen? 

Why now? 

2020 was supposed to be our 


Succor and Security 

Mother, Coo Us 

To bed and thus 

I rest my head 

My thoughts are aimless 

But they always return 

To my carcass 

Alone somewhere 

Usually in a bed In my house or 

A hospital 

Mother, take away this 

Pain and anxiety. 

Take the intrusive thoughts 

Away from us. Give us 

Whatever we need to 

Make it all okay 

We take benzos and SSRIs 

And hope for relief 

Why can’t we imagine 

Something other than death 

we want to let go of this fear 


My body shakes uncontrollably 

From one side to another 

The more I tense up, 

The worse it gets 

Like a boa constricting itself 

Around my body, gripping me 

Tighter each time I struggle

My father sees me 

As lesser, undesirable, ugly 

     Something other 

I’m out of this world 

     But not in a good way 

Since it’s not your ideal, law-abiding, 

white, and pure world. 

Mine is darker because of the 

Expectations of your world. You saw 

That my color was getting diluted and 

Couldn’t handle it. You taught me 

White was right but I wanted to explore 

Blues, purples, pinks, and greens. 

You tell me you love me 

     Out of obligation 

Nothing I do is right 

     Maybe I should give up 

Unholy, un-worthy, un-loving, 

Tell me how to act 

     Tell me when to breathe 

Tell me how incredible everything could be
     If only I were perfect 


If only you could see 

     I’m enough 

Beautiful as could be 

     Not because of you


But because of me 

     I’m not perfect 

You say I’m stained by all the colors 

But this ink is ornamental décor 

Incandescent to show how I’ve 

Transcended from your ideas 

And ideologies. 

I’m not clean 

     I’m contemplative 

Smart, believe it or not. Even 

If I disagree with you, it doesn’t mean 

That I can’t think for myself. You call 

Yourself a free thinker but you stay in 

The same close-minded box you’ve 

Been in since I was small 

Love me as I am 

     Or leave me alone 

Either way, I’ll be just fine 

     I won’t die 

I’ll live, not just survive 

     I’ll show you that without you I can thrive.

Ode to my Peppermint Hot Cocoa 

Oh, peppermint 

a cross between water and spear 

who thought to throw milk 

and chocolate into the mix? 

That minty cool 

menthol kiss 

gives me a little pick-me-up 

reminds me how long it’s been 

since I’ve brushed my teeth 

because of you, I can let out 

a clean breath 

You bring me Christmas in Spring 

the faux festive cheer brings me 

the serotonin I need 

I can forget all my worries 

if just for a moment 

As I stir your richness, I ponder 

how the tiniest things are the ones 

that keep us alive. 

Oh, peppermint hot cocoa 

you are the sweetest way to cope 

with life’s sourness and people’s saltiness.





     Now, I am awake 

     Years ago I would have fallen 

Given up and succumbed to the pain 

I lived with every day 

I didn’t know how to wake up then 

I didn’t know that dreams could be free 

I didn’t know how to escape my agony 

Stay longer in that state. 

Half-awake, half-asleep. 

There, you have control 

you can dream and realize 

I won’t be taken in. 

Here in this dreamscape, anything 

can happen. Its all in my control 

My dreams are my reality 

and my life awaits…

4 Families Divided 

Spare me the hatred 

Give me relief 

I’d rather be tossed aside and forgotten 

than deal with the insufferable complaints,

judgements, suggestions, and conversations. 

Spare me the awful evening 

Give me a restful night 

Leave me alone and get out of my sight. 

I couldn’t contain myself once I saw you 

hiss and bear your fangs. Slither away, 

far, far away where I’ll never have to 

endure your venomous ways. 

Spare me the wretched wedding 

Give me the joyful reception 

Please wait until tomorrow 

to give your opinions. Let there be 

peace today and war tomorrow. 

At least then, I’ll be on my honeymoon. 

Spare me the tasteless dinners 

Give me a scrumptious meal 

One that I’ll never forget, 

Maybe then I’ll answer your 

visitation requests. I don’t just 

let anyone in, you have to show me 

that you’re worthy

Don’t You Dare 

Touch me, lay a hand on me. 

My body is a beautiful landscape. 

Sacred springs, mountains, and 

green pastures. I’m a magnificent 

being, I can thrust life forth and 

beckon those who place themselves 

beneath me to do my bidding. 

Don’t you dare try to take my power 

away. It’s something intrinsic yet 

mysterious. People like you have 

always wanted to claim this power 

as your own, but only the chosen 

can wield it. Threaten me and I 

will crush you. 

Don’t you dare come for something that you don’t deserve.


It could be a song or a game 

but my best ideas 

appear while I’m in the shower. 

Cool, crystalline droplets envelop 

my body and I let them tempt 

me in. All I have to do is close 

my eyes and doors open to other 

universes and dimensions. 

Words swarm in based on 

memories, experiences, and dreams. 

Everything mixes together and screams 

to be written. Take a blank page and 

 make it your literary canvas. 

Spread the words that the water 

gave you and be grateful. It’s hard 

to find motivation these days.


Lies in the heart 

not on the body 

it’s that sense of safety and respect from 

others, especially men.

Not feeling their lewd gaze 

upon you and the fear 

that their unspeakable 

fantasies become reality. 

Someone may try to control you 

by telling you lies

like, no one will believe you 

no one will hear you 

you can’t run and there’s

no where to hide so 

you may as well give in. 

They’ll hurt you

then say it’s your fault 

they’ll use and abuse you 

but when you look in the mirror 

at your ghastly appearance, 

you hear their voice saying 

it was because of you 

your fault 

you wanted this 

you wanted me 

Leave invisible marks on your body

unseen by others, but always felt by you 

they’re like an involuntary tattoo 

that someone forcefully inked as 

you kicked and screamed you thought that surely others could see 

but they were painted with invisible ink 

Even if society 

tries to fill you with the lie 

that something has 

been taken from you 

that you’re not valuable 

that you’re not any good anymore 

that you must bear the consequences 


Don’t let those thoughts ruin you. 

Remember, no one can take it 

because it lies deep within 

where no one can harm you 

and you’re the one in control.