happiness comes from being a better person:
get fit, get ripped. that’s the first way to be happy.
hit the gym, lift, sweat, push yourself. your results
will motivate you, push you towards more.
more happiness: niceties. gifts. cards, and love
push yourself towards goodness and you will get
it back: this is true happiness: wealth. manage
your money. if you can’t afford one, money’s your
child. your net worth is your worth, your worth is your
joy; never stop to think. this is what you want. everyone
knows what you want: this is what you want. this is



it was the third month of satisfaction when I started to run
with the wind caressing my face as I push on
towards the front. I was, for the first time,
in a long time, running. past the rare green
open space, past the polished school gates,
past the landed properties and traffic breaks;
it was the day I started to run.

it was the feeling that I missed, to be between
the parks and roads, to be under the MRT tracks.
I was running through all those sights familiar
for the first time in a long time, catching my breath
along with the memories of the day that I stopped running.

day by day, they flew further and further away,
from pigeons they became the tints of a rainbow,
lost beyond those granite-paved ways.
once I started, they were all too far for me to believe;
those scrapbook fantasies of easier days.




the alarm went off at six in the morning,
and I woke and rose up grudgingly to the rooftop
of the mediocre, satisfactory hotel in Kathmandu.
I was there to watch the night turn into day.
from a distant view came the shine of dawn,
surrounded by the airborne tint of brown
up above on the rooftop, no one could
hear us sing; but we didn’t need that.

perhaps daybreak is what we needed for now,
with its glow descending on each picture taken
perhaps for now, this is what a miracle is:
the fact that we are here, that we were there.
and those few seconds of break
soon will be over, and what then?
it’s no matter; another day begins
the sun won’t shine on the summits much longer.


smoked salmon skylines streak across my sights
while I run back hesitant, bold and unafraid.
the everyday life outside proved to be too much
to handle, with much ado about nothing more
than a soiled hope of things getting better. these days
pass slowly, with each string strummed individually and
with each chord uttered nonchalantly. day by day, winter
slowly comes. there is an abrupt pause additional. and then
I start running back again. posters and persons greet my face
with their equally blank faces, and I fly past them to get back home.
everyday is an arthouse movie that gets no reviews,
an album streamed by one of your two parents, and then abruptly
paused. the same summer song plays on repeat in a foreign
tongue none but some understand, but what’s the point?
summer starts when the silent streams become rivers.


do you remember that first swipe on tinder
that was made unreceived like a foraging wasp
spreading its toxicity as an unwelcoming sight?
the lone yellow star of the dim forest night flounders
in the kindled heat of its anxious plight; do you remember
that night seven years ago? or maybe six?
the night where you cried yourself to sleep, blessed are you,
the vulnerable and weak, or so you seemed in the moonlight
as the scars of that morning grip you by your ruffled mane,
as they proselytize you to their own version of the truths that remain

do you remember when your thoughts were your own
before the solitary wasp gave way to greater pride?
I do not.