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Those who ignore you when you are the weakest

Should not hear from you when you are at your brightest

And that too will come

Life is never consistent

Take it as a blessing or curse

But you have to take it

I once heard that you should never forget three types of people

Those who help you when you’re in need

Those who don’t help you when you’re in need

And those who corner you when you’re in need

I know the third type are the most disgusting

But why then the second type affect me the most?

Maybe because I would have not thought for a second before helping them

But please help me, god, the universe, help me focus on the first category of people

For they are the only ones worth having in my heart and mind

My family

My self

The sea and the stars

A handful of friends

Some distant well wishers

This is not the end

It’s not even the middle

It’s the end of the beginning

Act 2 will now only begin

I’m getting the snacks ready

And wiping away the tears

Cutting my hair

Changing my look

They can smell it on you

The fear, the fierceness

I’m all out of fear

Now all there is to me is fire

Not the kind that burns me

But the kind that fuels me

The kind I control

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Hold me tighter than the trees hold the earth

Kiss me harder than the rain falls

The color of my cheeks change faster than the leaves on the trees

I fall in love with you

Like I fell in love with Fall

Malia Bariquit

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I wish I could hate my father

I wish I could feel anger for anything besides injustices at others

I know the late nights of violence and early mornings of yelling

The overbearing negligence and absent closeness is all bad

But no matter how much I am hurt

No matter how many bones are broken and bruises taken

How many bottles drunk and pills taken

No matter how terrified I am to enter my house

It doesn’t matter, I cannot be angry

Not because he is family

Not for something as undefinable and meaningless as that

Not for what he has done for me, it has not been anything I couldn’t do myself

For reasons I can’t yet know, and for reasons I hate

I am full of anger I cannot feel

There is nothing but spite and drugs in my blood, keeping me alive

My father will never be anything but a source of pain

And I will never be anything other than an empty hole

Ready to be filled with whatever you want to see in me

A place to release anger, pain you feel but can’t handle yourself

A place to hold your emotions you don’t want

I can take it all, all of it and more

I’ve taken it for these decades and I will endure it for a few more years

But it is ok, I can never be angry or hate my father

Not for who he is or what he’s done

But because I am a broken piece of mirror

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Sleeping with you

I kiss you to bed

We are careful not to make the night sky jealous

The way your soft pale skin catches the light in your dark room makes my eyes gloss over in love

We talk so much we swallow the stars

They sit inside me until I poor them out onto paper while you rest

I watch you while you sleep

Short breaths of air dance off your bottom lip

Your tummy, steady up and down

I dream of living in there, steady in your warmth, covered in a blanket of your comfort

I can’t remember a time before you

I am content

Malia Bariquit 2020

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Because you don’t know what it’s like to dance with the devil alone in your room at 3 AM. How good it feels when he slowly wraps his hands around your throat until you can’t breathe and whispers sweet nothings into your ear. And you know it’s wrong, but you can’t help but wonder what it would be like to just give in so that you don’t have to keep doing the same dance every night.

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The Toad and Mr. Fly

Sometimes my anxiety feels like I’ve swallowed a toad.

He sits at the bottom of my empty stomach, crying to be let out

Jumping, thumping, the anxiety toad bumps around and dreams of the day where he can be free

But all he does once he’s tired is grow heavy and let’s out a song to the flies who kept him company before he was ever mine

And the flies?

The flies are not good company.

Sometimes my anxiety makes me feel like I’m harassed by flies

but more specifically, “Mr. Fly”.

Buzzing, zipping, flying, mumbling,

Mr. Fly makes his way to my ear and whispers-

“We’re paranoid”

And my body and mind are frozen.

Stuck between fight or flight, suddenly everything needs to be questioned, second guessed, and I can’t trust anyone.

Flies start swarming, buzzing, zipping and mumbling, making their way into my mouth without swallowing where we hold each other hostage.

With my head buzzing with flies, Mr. Fly decides to pull a fast one and pops out my mouth and makes it to my ear once more.

“Check on your mom”

“My mom?? My mom???” I think

“Why what’s wrong with my mom??”

Not only is Mr. Fly anxiety, but paranoia itself.

Suddenly every scenario of what could possibly happen to my mother runs through my thoughts and the anxiety flies fly faster as my head buzzes louder with time

I breath slow with my mouth wide open, hoping they will leave

But they make their way down to my gut

I feel the anxiety toad already in my belly get heavier, larger,

I feel him start to grow and jump faster, quicker.

I’m gonna be sick

Seconds later I’m heaving, gagging, convulsing,

The anxiety toad jumps up, up, and out

Mr. Fly flies up and out to my ear and says with great certainty

“He’ll be back”

I took a second to think and responded

“I’m sure you will too”

I punch myself in my tummy, tilt my head and let out the swarm of flies, gaining back a piece of me with each one that leaves

And I watch every single one of them leave.

I watch the anxiety toad jump away.

I watch my self become whole again

Fully knowing, they’ll be back

Malia Bariquit 2020

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you silent thing.
sewed shut lips,
you horrid thing.
scratch marks at your neck,
you, thing.
taught that noise is destruction,
that living is disdain,
that a sign of your life
is the sign of an apocalypse.
even the blood in your veins
trickle meekly and with no bravado,
the way that it’s supposed to,
to let everyone know that you are—
silent thing—meant to be weeping
with life.

but one day, your laugh will be raucous.
one day your footsteps will thunder
and every sign of life in you
will reverberate into the earth,
out into the ocean,
and the tsunamis that rise,
will be a sign of your second coming—
crowned glory atop your horribly mangled head,
your arrival into the explosive masterpiece
of yourself,

and you will be more than
what your silence carried.

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Where did the words go? The thoughts, the dreams, the conversations that lasted until dawn, all gone. The souls intertwined and entangled, inseparable, now worlds apart, a chasm of silence. Where once an ocean we swam now lies a valley of nothingness. Where there was once adoration, now resentment. And I hold to past that strangles, longing for a love that onced burned, a love now faded from this world. ~ B.T.

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I wrote a letter to my friends

About the world and how it ends.

Used my favorite fountain pen

And all the love I have for them.

“Time has not been kind to me,

And every day I’ve failed to see

A fresh perspective, A new lease

On life or how to feel it’s peace.

Floating away to bigger things,

brighter scenes and better dreams.

Whether on land or out at sea,

Find me where the blue sky sings.”

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