Distorted colours

i remember what love looked like

love was the green mangoes in our backyard

plucked too early, mommy was on guard

afraid the squirrels would steal and run across the yard

she bit into the flesh, her lips shook into a frown

just like when daddy called to say he was going out of town

she caught a whiff of cheap perfume from the receiver

she was in constant fear that daddy would leave her

she couldn’t protect him like one of her mangoes

everyone knows it takes two to tango

love looked green

the envy that she could not contain

so lashing out on me kept her sane.



love looked like

“i’m sorry i’m sorry i’m sorry”

the music: empty words bouncing over a scratched cd

on loop til their meaning was lost at sea

the symphony of drowning seamen singing out of key

when hope is lost it becomes a silent plea

i want to drown the noise

i want to drown the noise

i turned the volume up to mute the war across the hall

where objects were being thrown around in a sick brawl

breaking into the pieces of a broken family

love looked red

the colour of my bleeding feet

tripping over the shards on repeat.



love looked like

“it won’t happen again”

after the blow that kissed my cheek

a touch too strong it left me weak

i saw stars but the night was bleak

and i remembered thinking:

i want to be swallowed by the black hole

i want to be swallowed by the black hole

i want to be swallowed

by the black hole

love looked purple

the colour of my bruises

before i swallowed her excuses.



love looked like

these scars morphing into crime scene tapes

screeching: stop! do not!

do not cross—do not make mommy cross!

“i’m sorry”—no!

i could be manipulated

only so many times

running away became my only strategy

when my insides gurgled at the sound of your apology

love looked black

love looked nothing like love.



Atilea, KL.