Chimney Smokes


“Show me where it hurts? Point the place of pain, that part which makes you cry.” Every morning, this was my conversation to myself the last couple of weeks.

And before I fall asleep, I would say “Nowhere but here. Nothing is here.”

I’ve been taught endurance by my parents, persistence by my mentors and painfully, patience in my move. Ironically, I’m not moving.

Lets live the dream to go overseas and shine; I’ve been wondering to myself how others like me manage to do this.

Decade after decade, our forefathers leave familiarities to feed the mouths of their young and imprint a firm kiss on their wives’ lips before they depart.

They travel with their last sip of coffee around a table of comrades and the clamour in the household kitchen is replaced by communal pantries with two microwaves beeping.

The single drips from the tap is my current soundtrack with the orchestra of shutting doors from the neighbours.

“Let’s go out for drinks this Friday?” they ask –  my pockets jingle with change quickly calculating what is left, this is for personal necessities only. Sirens go off in my mind.

She made a joke, I stare in silence wondering the point of humour here.

Cathedrals are relics and museums; people bow before big screens and kneel to praise empty bottles.

Bus stops, train stations, airports and all things that transport is bliss. Some place of movement but know this is only a fleeting moment.

I should bury my phone in my ear so I can hear mom say “hello” sooner. I need this device in me to play dad’s smiling emoticons in the cinema of my mind.

The winds are strong by the office, I crouch with squinting eyes to see this sacred place. Our halos has shifted to our faces blasted by the computer screens.

Tell me, how should I answer “How are you?” in a few sentences?

How am I? How will I? How can I?

I’ve been baking, you know. I’ve mastered the art of burning bread and then cookies and some chicken.

I’ve always wanted to be a master of something, who would have known I would be the girl on fire?

The one that holds hurricanes in her heart, fury in her eyes and fire in her hands.

Burning is my recent therapy; every day those keyboards go up in smoke and hunched backs duck deep amidst this corporate forest.

This – this is where it hurts.

Something is burning but the fire…

But the fire.

But the fire.

It burns.

Shades of lipstick as warpaint. Add some wood. Fan the smoke. Keep the flame.

Remember the burn.


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