The Shovel That Buried Me

You’re laughing with the ones you love
but it doesn’t quite feel the same.

Somehow, that light breeze took away
some fraction of spirit,
and left you with a frightening chill that shook
the very ground you stand on.

Maybe it’s the heaviness in your heart
that became too much,
or the sad truth of it all tattooed on your
lover’s face, unrecognisable under your touch.

I’m trying to understand how I am supposed
to feel grateful for life when all it’s ever
done is stood on shovel that buried me,
jumped on the dirt where I lay beneath,
while I smiled and prayed for better days


Darling, remember me,
if only once in a while,
if only when you accidentaly
scroll to your oldest photos.
I have changed: I am bitter
and wounded, I wear my
battle scars proudly
but only on certain days.
Remember us and those times
when nothing went right,
though we only turned
left and laughed it off.

But, love, that was enough
for us back then, when we still
thought we could destroy every
source of sadness with improvised
and highly questionable weapons.

I loved you with my whole heart.

Remember me by the photographs
you thought you deleted, the ugly
ones where our faces are overwhelmed
with happiness and blind faith.


I could spend my years travelling south,
and somehow, I’d still find traces of you lingering.

It’s been almost 9 months since the last time,
yet, I’m sure I can identify you by
the light shining through your curls.
I swore I left you behind, I followed the book,
I did all the ceremonial things,
but I still see you in the corner of my eye.
The wind has worn grooves into your bones,
the dust settled deep as you atone,
your lips tremble and quiver
under the weight of your smile.

I forget the simple truth that you are as human
as I am, choosing to remember you by your halo
in the setting sun than the red eyes and shy smile.


Dear Gillian,

I used to listen to this on repeat day after day, like my life depended on the continual presence of this song. I would listen to this song as I travel to college and back; I’d hum it to myself when I was getting ready; I used to listen to the violin cover as I worked; I would write the lyrics on the shower cubicle and the image would burn into my eyelids when I close them. And  I suppose for my younger self, my life did depend on it.

When I was young, my whole life was dedicated to this pursuit of a fresh start in a place further than I can imagine. I put my whole faith on the magical healing power of this place far far away, and for a while, it was my only coping mechanism. Everything I did only drummed in how claustrophobic I felt when there was such a big world out there, and I was stuck in a tiny town wasting away, feeling suicidal with a mind about to explode.The lyrics encouraged me to keep on living to find this place where no one knows my name, and become this person who, I thought, would let the freshness of the new air wash away the sadness.

I’ve been better these days, not necessarily in the severity of my sadness but the frequency of the downward spirals. I started thinking about that period of my life again when the song unexpectedly came on shuffle; it’s strange that this song, which was once so ingrained to my being did not even make it to a playlist. I thought about it, as someone who has moved to their version of Boston and still remain unsatisfied, of going further afield. I wonder just exactly what would happen if I decide to drop all contact, and purchase a one way ticket out of this country. Where would I go? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is now with my newfound wisdom, I have realised that the emotional baggage I carry can never be left behind, and it was quite possibly one of the worst coping mechanisms I have.

It is terrible to ignore your problems and pray they never come back to haunt you, this is not a situation where ignorance is bliss. Eventually, there will be another breakdown and Boston will only contribute to it. It’s disheartening and demoralising to make yourself confront this fact, and the period following is filled with much fear and uncertainty. But depression makes you a survivor every single day because you are still here when you have the choice not to be, because your whole world is turning against you and still you find some courage to keep waking up, because despite the pain and sorrow you feel, there is this animalistic part of you that is roaring for another day, and I think this is a good enough source of comfort for those rainy days.