Each brush, an expression of reality infused with dreams and aspirations. But to you, whom I dear, correct with an eye of cutting judgment, a heart of brute rejection, and a mind of biting prejudice: do you see the brushes you have sawed, and the colors you have drained from the deepest buckets of paint?

I carry my corseted physics each day, waned from the daily trepidations of silent endurance, only to have them tightened further by you. I do not need this figuring frame because I am already much too twisted and mashed up inside to distinguish my heart from my lungs. My air sacs are filled with darkened blood, stifled and drying from the shackling bane. The pieces you claim 'hostle', 'vile' and 'wild' are mere sneak peeks into the erratic whirlpool of emotions that swallow me.

On the outside, I am the calm stillness of the air before a thunderstorm, and the quiet resting of a volcano waiting to erupt. If you take away my only expression, a catastrophe will befall. I know to you art is not as good as science, and art gets you no dollars or fame until you die, but in them, I find comfort and understanding… Do you not see?

That night you sneaked into my room, found the pages encoding my deepest tragedies and hardest truths, and burnt them at the backyard. I watched from the window in silent tears, the licking flames that devoured my passionate display in angry sizzles.

My passions are made of water: the very same liquid substance that keeps us alive. There is no way you can rid of it; there is no way you can stop its flow. Your fire will only die down to smoke and ashes under my passion. You do not how I wither and wear away without it… You never will.

Then, I began my quiet path of e-journals. That did not work either. Somehow you always have a way to rid of them. Only one survived the harsh plowing of your unforgiving span, and their low voices haunt me each night I lie awake in bed, slaying demons in my head (LadyMaybeBaby, 2013):

The Sun Rises
By Germaine Tan

Tear chokes scratch the alley, a child
blinded gets shoved deeper in, where
only double-bolted doors scream silence.

Zips drawn and opened, unevenly sunken
valleys of life smothered under cheerful chatter:
the horned vultures loiter not far away, awaiting.

The only way out is the way in, a vision
too bold shatters under the slightest touch
and tonight, the moon watches, tomorrow

The sun rises.

Every night you look at the moon, remember a part of me has died and fled up to it.

They say that our eyes are the windows to our soul, but I am a doll with a measured smile, and unblinking eye sewed to a dead face and body. There is no warmth, no love, and no whirling thoughts. Do what you want with me, or dispose of me if that pleases you.

Close the browser, click no further. No matter how many you delete, they have already been uploaded. Someone else, halfway around the world, would have seen it… Maybe aliens too. Close your eyes; dig no further. There is nothing left for you to find, and even if you take away their physical forms, the mind and heart keeps a throbbing and vivid database of the misery.

All that you want has been achieved, I now appear as the perfect little Barbie you have always wanted me to be (oh, but you probably forgot that Barbie has a body shape that is totally out of proportion). The dendrites of my neurons are fountaining sparks like a wire verging on fusing — Do you know how thoroughly damaged I am, now?

Yet, come sit with me, dear, or if you want to, we can stand (Tan, 2014). Let me take you on this journey, even if it is dark and agonizing. If you would just uncritically lend me your ear, I would let you in: to see my most vulnerable self, my weakest points in life.

See this broken life through my eyes: fix the brushes you have broken, and return the colors you have stolen. I can tell your story through them, show you the wonders of letting go. I may not be the best painter, but I have chosen to paint my own reality, to be like others have been to me: a deeper sense of being understood and empathized.

I do not know how or where you channel your negative emotions to, but for us, writing is our best therapy. It is more than just having an empathetic reader; it is about reading your experiences many years later and seeing how far you have come. Maybe you can join us instead of judging us: take your own kind of brush and paint your own Starry Starry Night* (Van Gogh, 1989).

I know you love me, but if you love me, please, let you let me (adapted: Wong, 1997).

*Starry Starry Night is a painting with calm, cooling colors that create a sense of serenity and comfort. It is an association to the comfort acquired from the narrator's preferred form of expression.


C. Wong. (November 11, 1997) Below: Absence

G. Tan (March 2014) Hush Baby. Retrieved from: /poems/by/Scented%20Memories

LadyMaybeBaby. (November 11, 2012) Retrieved from: . ?f=13&t=34197

P. Kuczynski. (n.d.) Retrieved from: at-first-it-looked-like-normal-painting-when-i-actually-thought-about-it-wow/