step one: braid your mothers hair every morning.
she’ll half-heartedly push you away, but you have
your father’s sense of responsibility. “you have
his stubbornness, you mule,” she’ll murmur.
ignore the way she spreads her stiff fingers
as you pull back her graying curls. ignore the
look of disdain she gives them. ignore the
way she glances back at the empty spot in the bed
where your father used to sleep next to her.
love her as best you can.
step two: when they come,
hide the children.
shush the sobs
let them huddle
as close to you
as they need to.
when they come for the children
scream until your throat is raw.
step three: refuse to tell them anything.
step four: realise you need to tell them some things.
step five: sink into the fire lit beneath your skin
and let the rage burning through your soul consume you whole.
know that letting you go was the worst mistake they could’ve made.
relish in this.
step six: he is death personified and
he is so easy to control.
you have death in your hands
death at your beck and call.
wonder where this death was
when you needed him most.
step seven: your emotional wounds are so old
that they are festering, attracting flies, maggots.
pray to every god you know. pray to any god
that will listen. you have your mothers eyes
and you know you’re doing her kindness
an injustice. with your hands around his throat,
you know she wouldn’t be proud.
step eight: let death spark life in you.
step nine: as it all collapses
gargle with blood and spit out a tooth
that isnt yours.
you bear the wounds of an entire people
of people you knew, people you cherished
of bodies burnt and souls lost.
as it all collapses
swear you hear their voices.
as it all collapses
decide to go home.
step ten: in the depths of midnight
think of him and the weight you
forced him to carry.
maybe you don’t have your father’s sense of responsibility.
step eleven: don’t be surprised when he finds you.
his existence is written into yours, he is stitched into your veins.
you don’t think this could’ve gone any other way.
step twelve: take him home.
step thirteen: feel tensions unravel and
stop setting metaphorical on fires and
start lighting some real ones.
he always forgets to put one on.
step fourteen: be content that
the first time you exchange “i love you”s
will be in the dark, on opposite sides of the bed.
he will say it again in the morning.
step fifteen: braid his hair every morning
he’ll lean into your hands, sigh into your touch.
"i’m going to make pancakes," he’ll mumble and
sometimes you’ll think you could cry at the domesticity.
love him as best you can.
argh quick yarne before heading to class!
Title: Demons [Sam Tsui & Max Schneider Cover]
Artist: Sam Tsui & Max Schneider
"of course i can, koujaku"