I Am the End

And life becomes jaded of straying too far from its roots
Slowly, slowly
Less twists and turns are made
No longer do the veins spread like thatched robin's feet
I sway, suspended in the open breeze
It's me
The last branch, a delta without a sea
Lacking the youthful twigs that sprouted so readily--
And for what reason?
--on the rest of the tree.

Let's travel back in time
Beyond the careless blinks of the universe's eye
Back when the tree was a seed
Of a neglected fallen fruit.

If I could peer into the grains of fate
And pluck the parasite wrapped around our family's little finger
I would
Yet all we can do is watch it shrivel into life
And ponder, speculate the tainted rain that must have travelled long and far
To hide in well-meaning sweetness
Until the lines blurred
To become what we are.

I never asked to be tangled in this forest of a tree.

But the sun let us get drunk on its rays
Why, I mistrust the golden star that is tethered to the good of the world
Of which an unflinching gaze into its eyes would
Render you blind.

What is there to be achieved?
If not survival, then resentful greed
To extend the roots of a cursed family tree
To only carve our voiceless names
Into the darkest harbours of our hearts
Where no one will see

That more mistakes aren't made.

I am the end
Of the anger
And emptiness
And fleeting empathy

I am the end
Of the chain
Of self-centered pity
Born from variable love

Because when you've had enough
Of becoming the thing you learn to hate
You learn to learn
That blessings
Can also be mistakes

So I keep my feelings locked
In Pandora's box
Shelter my feminine destiny
And banish the lies my heart tells me

Lest the apples are spilled
And I'm left crying on my knees
Watching tears roll off waxed leaves
And fall,
Through the gaps of my splayed-out fingers.

Jennifer Lam