Dear Heart

by Chua Han Au

Pen, write me a happy poem.

Tonight, I am feeling acutely stifled — as if my throat has been utterly ripped open with an undeniable force and left to be infected unto death. I want to leave the house and walk in the dark streets. I need to stop reading Plath’s depressing writings and cease listening to Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianche.

I stay up late at night, writing ceaselessly — like a train that has lost its brakes. At this age, I am fully aware that sleep is essential for growth and that my organs need it more than I do. Yet, as much as I desire to create productivity out of the time that I have, I can’t seem to string my words beautifully. Perhaps the monotonous and peaceful days have crushed my ability to write. I feel as though I have lost all things capable of emotions and what is left is merely an empty exoskeleton. Left completely hapless, I feel like a violinist with broken strings.

In sleep, I get grotesque dreams of people with a countenance of stolidity and houses being set on fire. The blaze stings my skin, akin to a flirtatious invitation to join the party. I wake up routinely at 4AM, out of fear and am greeted with the dark staircase, where the emergence of something ghastly does not seem far from impossibility. When I shut my eyes and witness a stygian canvas, vestiges of gashed ceramic faces of marionettes and uncanny smiles surface. The thing waiting only to smother.

Pen, write me a happy poem. Remind me of the times when I craved for sleep yesteryear, where the process was for solace and not a daily challenge met with fear. Just a happy poem will do.

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