We Are All Learning
By Peiyu Loh
Art by Larissa Garcia


i. make some polite conversation with me

fact is, consciousness exists in sad isolation
people speak in streams of consciousness
and try not to alienate the right ones, the ones with focused eyes

check yourself, are you speaking in a stream of consciousness

my stream of consciousness is touching the hand of yours
asking for understanding

when i speak to you on the phone my words are actually a coded scream for you to plumb my metaphorical depths

the ones you make exceptions for are the hard ones
the lesson to be learnt here is they do not hear you when you scream
it fucks up the sound waves is what they tell you

ii. the death of my projections of you

the narrative arc of this story is
i think about you
i think about you
i think about you
i decide to forget you

the way i do that is by
dissociating emotion from the image of your face

the motif of expectation is also the motif of forgetting

you will change your mind about me
but when you do
i would already have changed mine about you
sorry but i am not sorry

iii. candy

when you came to me soft
shame so unabashed it was want of shame
i was hard

i thought
put your walls up and only then will i take them down for you

and then you took mine down

our pain does not do justice to pain
who cares
we are crying because we secretly enjoy it

we kiss in the curtained darkness of your living room
we kiss on the floor
we kiss on your sheets

we suck candy out of each other’s mouths

we watch a sad movie in which i try very hard to cry

you say my hair is beautiful when it is wet
i don’t believe that
but i believe you
and that is what matters i guess

i am not enough for love
not enough to do loving
but i am making the decision to love you anyway
and that is also what matters i guess

the night i cried
i cried for beginnings and endings
i cried for how the temporality of everything is another way of saying nothing matters
i cried for how you proved me wrong and that was showing me how i was right in the first place

settle for things that are not your expectations and then tell yourself that you are not settling

Peiyu Loh lives in Singapore
Larissa Garcia lives in Miami, FL