الرئيسية The Sun and Her Flowers
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Love this book! I can’t stop reading it even if I have to eat lunch or dinner
24 August 2018 (06:56)
Best poetry book I've read so far. This is medicine for the soul.
03 May 2019 (09:28)
I've read it more than ten times! One of the best poetry books I've read.
09 March 2020 (21:05)
also by rupi kaur milk and honey [image: ] [image: ] the sun and her flowers copyright © 2017 by Rupi Kaur. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of reprints in the context of reviews. Andrews McMeel Publishing a division of Andrews McMeel Universal 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106 www.andrewsmcmeel.com www.rupikaur.com ISBN: 978-1-4494-8890-1 Library of Congress Control Number: 2017948761 Illustrations and design by Rupi Kaur ATTENTION: SCHOOLS AND BUSINESSES Andrews McMeel books are available at quantity discounts with bulk purchase for educational, business, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail the Andrews McMeel Publishing Special Sales Department: firstname.lastname@example.org. [image: ] to my makers kamaljit kaur and suchet singh i am. because of you. i hope you look at us and think your sacrifices were worth it to my stunning sisters and brother prabhdeep kaur kirandeep kaur saaheb singh we are in this together you define love. [image: ] contents wilting falling rooting rising blooming [image: ] [image: ] bees came for honey flowers giggled as they undressed themselves for the taking the sun smiled - the second birth [image: ] [image: ] on the last day of love my heart cracked inside my body [image: ] i spent the entire night casting spells to bring you back [image: ] i reached for the last bouquet of flowers you gave me now wilting in their vase one by one i popped their heads off and ate them [image: ] ; i stuffed a towel at the foot of every door leave i told the air i have no use for you i drew every curtain in the house go i told the light no one is coming in and no one is going out - cemetery you left and i wanted you still yet i deserved someone who was willing to stay [image: ] i spend days in bed debilitated by loss i attempt to cry you back but the water is done and still you have not returned i pinch my belly till it bleeds have lost count of the days sun becomes moon and moon becomes sun and i become ghost a dozen different thoughts tear through me each second you must be on your way perhaps it’s best if you’re not i am okay no i am angry yes i hate you maybe i can’t move on i will i forgive you i want to rip my hair out over and over and over again till my mind exhausts itself into a silence yesterday the rain tried to imitate my hands by running down your body i ripped the sky apart for allowing it - jealousy [image: ] in order to fall asleep i have to imagine your body crooked behind mine spoon ladled into spoon till i can hear your breath i have to recite your name till you answer and we have a conversation only then can my mind drift off to sleep - pretend it isn’t what we left behind that breaks me it’s what we could’ve built had we stayed [image: ] i can still see our construction hats lying exactly where we left them pylons unsure of what to guard bulldozers gazing out for our return the planks of wood stiff in their boxes yearning to be nailed up but neither of us goes back to tell them it is over in time the bricks will grow tired of waiting and crumble the cranes will droop their necks in sorrow the shovels will rust do you think flowers will grow here when you and i are off building something new with someone else - the construction site of our future i live for that first second in the morning when i am still half-conscious i hear the hummingbirds outside flirting with the flowers i hear the flowers giggling and the bees growing jealous when i turn over to wake you it starts all over again the panting the wailing the shock of realizing that you’ve left - the first mornings without you [image: ] the hummingbirds tell me you’ve changed your hair i tell them i don’t care while listening to them describe every detail - hunger i envy the winds who still witness you [image: ] i could be anything in the world but i wanted to be his i tried to leave many times but as soon as i got away my lungs buckled under the pressure panting for air i’d return perhaps this is why i let you skin me to the bone something was better than nothing having you touch me even if it was not kind was better than not having your hands at all i could take the abuse i could not take the absence i knew i was beating a dead thing but did it matter if the thing was dead when at the very least i had it - addiction [image: ] you break women in like shoes loving you was breathing but that breath disappearing before it filled my lungs - when it goes too soon [image: ] [image: ] what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid far too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who could probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re all looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing whom to choose [image: ] you cannot walk in and out of me like a revolving door i have too many miracles happening inside me to be your convenient option - not your hobby you took the sun with you when you left [image: ] i remained committed long after you were gone i could not lift my eyes to meet eyes with someone else looking felt like betrayal what excuse would i have when you came back and asked where my hands had been - loyal when you plunged the knife into me you also began bleeding my wound became your wound didn’t you know love is a double-edged knife you will suffer the way you make me suffer [image: ] i think my body knew you would not stay [image: ] i long for you but you long for someone else i deny the one who wants me cause i want someone else - the human condition [image: ] i wonder if i am beautiful enough for you or if i am beautiful at all i change what i am wearing five times before i see you wondering which pair of jeans will make my body more tempting to undress tell me is there anything i can do to make you think her she is so striking she makes my body forget it has knees write it in a letter and address it to all the insecure parts of me your voice alone drives me to tears yours telling me i am beautiful yours telling me i am enough you’re everywhere except right here and it hurts [image: ] show me a picture i want to see the face of the woman who made you forget the one you had at home what day was it and what excuse did you feed me i used to thank the universe for bringing you to me did you enter her right as i asked the almighty to grant you all you wanted did you find it in her did you come crawling out of her with what you couldn’t in me what draws you to her tell me what you like so i can practice [image: ] your absence is a missing limb [image: ] questions there is a list of questions i want to ask but never will there is a list of questions i go through in my head every time i’m alone and my mind can’t stop itself from searching for you there is a list of questions i want to ask so if you’re listening somewhere here i am asking them what do you think happens to the love that’s left behind when two lovers leave how blue do you think it gets before it passes away does it pass away or does it still exist somewhere waiting for us to come back when we lied to ourselves by calling this unconditional and left which one of us hurt more i shattered into a million little pieces and those pieces shattered into a million more crumbled into dust till there was nothing left of me but the silence tell me how love how did the grieving feel for you how did the mourning hurt how did you peel your eyes open after every blink knowing i’d never be there staring back it must be hard to live with what ifs there must always be this constant dull aching in the pit of your stomach trust me i feel it too how in the world did we get here how did we live through it and how are we still living how many months did it take before you stopped thinking of me or are you still thinking of me cause if you are then maybe i am too thinking of you thinking of me with me in me around me everywhere you and me and us do you still touch yourself to thoughts of me do you still imagine my naked naked tiny tiny body pressed into yours do you still imagine the curve of my spine and how you wanted to rip it out of me cause the way it dipped into my perfectly rounded bottom drove you crazy baby sugar baby sweet baby ever since we left how many times did you pretend it was my hand stroking you how many times did you search for me in your fantasies and end up crying instead of coming don’t you lie to me i can tell when you’re lying cause there’s always that little bit of arrogance in your response are you angry with me are you okay and would you tell me if you’re not and if we ever see each other again do you think you’d reach out and hold me like you said you would the last time we spoke and you talked of the next time we would or do you think we’d just look shake in our skin as we pine to absorb as much as we can of each other cause by this time we’ve probably got someone else waiting at home we were good together weren’t we and is it wrong that i’m asking you these questions tell me love that you have been looking for these answers too you call to tell me you miss me i turn to face the front door of the house waiting for a knock days later you call to say you need me but still aren’t here the dandelions on the lawn are rolling their eyes in disappointment the grass has declared you yesterday’s news what do i care if you love me or miss me or need me when you aren’t doing anything about it if i’m not the love of your life i’ll be the greatest loss instead where do we go from here my love when it’s over and i’m standing between us whose side do i run to when every nerve in my body is pulsing for you when my mouth waters at the thought when you are pulling me in just by standing there how do i turn around and choose myself [image: ] day by day i realize everything i miss about you was never there in the first place - the person i fell in love with was a mirage they leave and act like it never happened they come back and act like they never left - ghosts [image: ] i tried to find it but there was no answer at the end of the last conversation - closure you ask if we can still be friends i explain how a honeybee does not dream of kissing the mouth of a flower and then settle for its leaves - i don’t need more friends [image: ] why is it that when the story ends we begin to feel all of it [image: ] rise said the moon and the new day came the show must go on said the sun life does not stop for anybody it drags you by the legs whether you want to move forward or not that is the gift life will force you to forget how you long for them your skin will shed till there is not a single part of you left they’ve touched your eyes finally just your eyes not the eyes which held them you will make it to the end of what is only the beginning go on open the door to the rest of it - time [image: ] [image: ] i notice everything i do not have and decide it is beautiful [image: ] i hardened under the last loss. it took something human out of me. i used to be so deeply emotional i’d crumble on demand. but now the water has made its exit. of course i care about the ones around me. i’m just struggling to show it. a wall is getting in the way. i used to dream of being so strong nothing could shake me. now. i am. so strong. that nothing shakes me. and all i dream is to soften. - numbness yesterday when i woke up the sun fell to the ground and rolled away flowers beheaded themselves all that’s left alive here is me and i barely feel like living - depression is a shadow living inside me [image: ] why are you so unkind to me my body cries cause you don’t look like them i tell her you are waiting for someone who is not coming back meaning you are living your life hoping that someone will realize they can’t live theirs without you - realizations don’t work like that [image: ] a lot of times we are angry at other people for not doing what we should have done for ourselves - responsibility why did you leave a door hanging open between my legs were you lazy did you forget or did you purposely leave me unfinished - conversations with god [image: ] they did not tell me it would hurt like this no one warned me about the heartbreak we experience with friends where are the albums i thought there were no songs sung for it i could not find the ballads or read the books dedicated to writing the grief we fall into when friends leave it is the type of heartache that does not hit you like a tsunami it is a slow cancer the kind that does not show up for months has no visible signs is an ache here a headache there but manageable cancer or tsunami it all ends the same a friend or a lover a loss is a loss is a loss - the underrated heartache i hear a thousand kind words about me and it makes no difference yet i hear one insult and all confidence shatters - focusing on the negative [image: ] [image: ] home it began as a typical thursday from what i recall sunlight kissed my eyelids good morning i remember it exactly climbing out of bed making coffee to the sound of children playing outside putting music on loading the dishwasher i remember placing flowers in a vase in the middle of the kitchen table only when my apartment was spotless did i step into the bathtub wash yesterday out of my hair i decorated myself like the walls of my home were decorated with frames bookshelves photos i hung a necklace around my neck hooked earrings in applied lipstick like paint swept my hair back—just your typical thursday we ended up at a get-together with friends at the end you asked if i needed a ride home and i said yes cause our dads worked at the same company and you’d been to my place for dinner many times but i should have known when you began to confuse kind conversation with flirtation when you told me to let my hair down when instead of driving me home toward the bright intersection of lights and life—you took a left to the road that led nowhere i asked where we were going you asked if i was afraid my voice threw itself over the edge of my throat landed at the bottom of my belly and hid for months all the different parts in me turned the lights off shut the blinds locked the doors while i hid at the back of some upstairs closet of my mind as someone broke the windows—you kicked the front door in—you took everything and then someone took me —it was you. who dove into me with a fork and a knife eyes glinting with starvation like you hadn’t eaten in weeks i was a hundred and ten pounds of fresh meat you skinned and gutted with your fingers like you were scraping the inside of a cantaloupe clean as i screamed for my mother you nailed my wrists to the ground turned my breasts into bruised fruit this home is empty now no gas no electricity no running water the food is rotten from head to foot i am layered in dust fruit flies. webs. bugs. someone call the plumber my stomach is backed up—i’ve been vomiting since call the electrician my eyes won’t light up call the cleaners to wash me up and hang me to dry when you broke into my home it never felt like mine again i can’t even let a lover in without getting sick i lose sleep after the first date lose my appetite become more bone and less skin forget to breathe every night my bedroom becomes a psych ward where panic attacks turn men into doctors to keep me calm every lover who touches me—feels like you their fingers—you mouths—you until they’re not the ones on top of me anymore—it’s you and i am so tired of doing things your way —it isn’t working i’ve spent years trying to figure out how i could have stopped it but the sun can’t stop the storm from coming the tree can’t stop the ax i can’t blame myself for having a hole the size of your manhood in my chest anymore it’s too heavy to carry your guilt—i’m setting it down i’m tired of decorating this place with your shame as if it belongs to me it’s too much to walk around with what your hands have done if it’s not my hands that have done it the truth comes to me suddenly—after years of rain the truth comes like sunlight pouring through an open window it takes a long time to get here but it all comes full circle it takes a broken person to come searching for meaning between my legs it takes a complete. whole. perfectly designed person to survive it it takes monsters to steal souls and fighters to reclaim them this home is what i came into this world with was the first home will be the last home you can’t take it there is no space for you no welcome mat no extra bedrooms i’m opening all the windows airing it out putting flowers in a vase in the middle of the kitchen table lighting a candle loading the dishwasher with all of my thoughts until they’re spotless scrubbing the countertops and then i plan to step into the bathtub wash yesterday out of my hair decorate my body in gold put music on sit back put my feet up and enjoy this typical thursday afternoon [image: ] when snow falls i long for grass when grass grows i walk all over it when leaves change color i beg for flowers when flowers bloom i pick them - unappreciative tell them i was the warmest place you knew and you turned me cold [image: ] at home that night i filled the bathtub with scorching water tossed in spearmint from the garden two tablespoons almond oil some milk and honey a pinch of salt rose petals from the neighbor’s lawn i soaked myself in the mixture desperate to wash the dirty off the first hour i picked pine needles from my hair counted them one two three lined them up on their backs the second hour i wept a howling escaped me who knew girl could become beast during the third hour i found bits of him on bits of me the sweat was not mine the white between my legs not mine the bite marks not mine the smell not mine the blood mine the fourth hour i prayed it felt like you threw me so far from myself i’ve been trying to find my way back ever since [image: ] i reduced my body to aesthetics forgot the work it did to keep me alive with every beat and breath declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs searched everywhere for a miracle foolish enough to not realize i was already living in one the irony of loneliness is we all feel it at the same time - together [image: ] my girlhood was too much hair thin limbs coated in velvet it was neighborhood tradition for the other young girls and i to frequent basement salons on a weekly basis run by women in a house who were my mother’s age had my mother’s skin but looked nothing like my simple mother they had brown skin with yellow hair meant for white skin streaks like zebras slits for eyebrows i looked at my own caterpillars with shame and dreamt mine would be that thin i sit timidly in the makeshift waiting area hoping a friend from school would not drop by a bollywood music video is playing on a tiny television screen in the corner someone is getting their legs waxed or hair dyed when the auntie calls me in i walk into the room and make small talk she leaves for a moment while i undress my lower half i slide my pants and underwear off lie down on the spa bed and wait when she returns she positions my legs like an open butterfly soles of feet together knees pointing in opposite directions first the disinfectant wipe then the cold jelly how is school and what are you studying she asks turns the laser on places the head of the machine on my pubic bone and just like that it begins the hair follicles around my clitoris begin burning with each zap i wince shivering with pain why do i do this why do i punish my body for being exactly as it’s meant to be i stop myself halfway through the regret when i think of him and how i’m too embarrassed to show him unless it’s clean i bite down on my lip and ask if we’re almost finished - basement aesthetician [image: ] we have been dying since we got here and forgot to enjoy the view - live fully you were mine and my life was full you are no longer mine and my life is full [image: ] my eyes make mirrors out of every reflective surface they pass searching for something beautiful looking back my ears fish for compliments and praise but no matter how far they go looking nothing is enough for me i go to clinics and department stores for pretty potions and new techniques i’ve tried the lasers i’ve tried the facials i’ve tried the blades and expensive creams for a hopeful minute they fill me make me glow from cheek to cheek but as soon as i feel beautiful their magic disappears suddenly where am i supposed to find it i am willing to pay any price for a beauty that makes heads turn every moment day and night - a never-ending search this place makes me the kind of exhausted that has nothing to do with sleep and everything to do with the people around me - introvert [image: ] you must see no worth in yourself if you find me worth less after you’ve touched me as if your hands on my body magnify you and reduce me to nothing - worth is not something we transfer you do not just wake up and become the butterfly - growth is a process [image: ] i am having a difficult time right now comparing myself to other people i am stretching myself thin trying to be them making fun of my face like my father calling it ugly starving out this premature double chin before it melts into my shoulders like candle wax fixing the bags under my eyes that carry the rape bookmarking surgical procedures for my nose there is so much that needs tending to can you point me in the right direction i want to take this body off which way back to the womb like the rainbow after the rain joy will reveal itself after sorrow [image: ] no was a bad word in my home no was met with the lash erased from our vocabulary beaten out of our backs till we became well-behaved kids who obediently nodded yes to everything when he climbed on top of me every part of my body wanted to reject it but i couldn’t say no to save my life when i tried to scream all that escaped me was silence i heard no pounding her fist on the roof of my mouth begging to let her out but i had not put up the exit sign never built the emergency staircase there was no trapdoor for no to escape from i want to ask all the parents and guardians a question what use was obedience then when there were hands that were not mine inside me - how can i verbalize consent as an adult if i was never taught to as a child despite knowing they won’t be here for long they still choose to live their brightest lives - sunflowers [image: ] when you find her tell her not a day goes by when i do not think of her that girl who thinks you are everything she asked for when you bounce her off the walls and she cries tell her i cry with her too the sound of drywall crunching into itself as it’s beaten with her head also lives in my ears tell her to run to me i have already unscrewed my front door off its frame opened all the windows inside there is a warm bath running she does not need your kind of love i am proof she will get out and find her way back to herself if i could survive you so will she parts of my body still ache from the first time they were touched [image: ] [image: ] the art of growing i felt beautiful until the age of twelve when my body began to ripen like new fruit and suddenly the men looked at my newborn hips with salivating lips the boys didn’t want to play tag at recess they wanted to touch all the new and unfamiliar parts of me the parts i didn’t know how to wear didn’t know how to carry and tried to bury in my rib cage boobs they said and i hated that word hated that i was embarrassed to say it that even though it was referring to my body it didn’t belong to me it belonged to them and they repeated it like they were meditating upon it boobs he said let me see yours there is nothing worth seeing here but guilt and shame i try to rot into the earth below my feet but i am still standing one foot across from his hooked fingers and when he charges to feast on my half moons i bite into his forearm and decide i hate this body i must have done something terrible to deserve it when i go home i tell my mother the men outside are starving she tells me i must not dress with my breasts hanging said the boys will get hungry if they see fruit says i should sit with my legs closed like a woman oughta or the men will get angry and fight said i can avoid all this trouble if i just learn to act like a lady but the problem is that doesn’t even make sense i can’t wrap my head around the fact that i have to convince half the world’s population my body is not their bed i am busy learning the consequences of womanhood when i should be learning science and math instead i like cartwheels and gymnastics so i can’t imagine walking around with my thighs pressed together like they’re hiding a secret as if the acceptance of my own body parts will invite thoughts of lust in their heads i will not subject myself to their ideology cause slut shaming is rape culture virgin praising is rape culture i am not a mannequin in the window of your favorite shop you can’t dress me up or throw me out when i am worn you are not a cannibal your actions are not my responsibility you will control yourself the next time i go to school and the boys hoot at my backside i push them down foot over their necks and defiantly say boobs and the look in their eyes is priceless when the world comes crashing at your feet it’s okay to let others help pick up the pieces if we’re present to take part in your happiness when your circumstances are great we are more than capable of sharing your pain - community [image: ] i do not weep because i’m unhappy i weep because i have everything yet i am unhappy let it go let it leave let it happen nothing in this world was promised or belonged to you anyway - all you own is yourself [image: ] wish pure love and soft peace upon the ones who’ve been unkind to you and keep moving forward - this will free you both yes it is possible to hate and love someone at the same time i do it to myself every day [image: ] somewhere along the way i lost the self-love and became my greatest enemy i thought i’d seen the devil before in the uncles who touched us as children the mobs that burned our city to the ground but i’d never seen someone as hungry for my flesh as i was i peeled my skin off just to feel awake wore it inside out sprinkled it with salt to punish myself turmoil clotted my nerves my blood curdled i even tried to bury myself alive but the dirt recoiled you have already rotted it said there is nothing left for me to do - self-hate the way you speak of yourself the way you degrade yourself into smallness is abuse - self-harm [image: ] when i hit the rock bottom that exists after the rock bottom and no rope or hand appeared i wondered what if nothing wants me because i do not want me - i am both the poison and the antidote first i went for my words the i can’ts. i won’ts. i am not good enoughs. i lined them up and shot them dead then i went for my thoughts invisible and everywhere there was no time to gather them one by one i had to wash them out i wove a linen cloth out of my hair soaked it in a bowl of mint and lemon water carried it in my mouth as i climbed up my braid to the back of my head down on my knees i began to wipe my mind clean it took twenty-one days my knees bruised but i did not care i was not given the breath in my lungs to choke it out i would scrub the self-hate off the bone till it exposed love - self-love [image: ] i have survived far too much to go quietly let a meteor take me call the thunder for backup my death will be grand the land will crack the sun will eat itself - the day i leave i want to honeymoon myself [image: ] if i am the longest relationship of my life isn’t it time to nurture intimacy and love with the person i lie in bed with each night - acceptance what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives [image: ] i woke up thinking the work was done i would not have to practice today how naive to think healing was that easy when there is no end point no finish line to cross healing is everyday work you have so much but are always hungry for more stop looking up at everything you don’t have and look around at everything you do - where the satisfaction lives [image: ] you can imitate a light like mine but you cannot become it and here you are living despite it all [image: ] this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom [image: ] [image: ] [image: ] they have no idea what it is like to lose home at the risk of never finding home again to have your entire life split between two lands and become the bridge between two countries - immigrant [image: ] look at what they’ve done the earth cried to the moon they’ve turned me into one entire bruise - green and blue you are an open wound and we are standing in a pool of your blood - refugee camp [image: ] when it came to listening my mother taught me silence if you are drowning their voice with yours how will you hear them she asked when it came to speaking she said do it with commitment every word you say is your own responsibility when it came to being she said be tender and tough at once you need to be vulnerable to live fully but rough enough to survive it all when it came to choosing she asked me to be thankful for the choices i had that she never had the privilege of making - lessons from mumma leaving her country was not easy for my mother i still catch her searching for it in foreign films and the international food aisle [image: ] i wonder where she hid him. her brother who had died only a year before. as she sat in a costume of red silk and gold on her wedding day. she tells me it was the saddest day of her life. how she had not finished mourning yet. a year was not enough. there was no way to grieve that quick. it felt like a blink. a breath. before the news of his loss had sunk in the decor was already hung up. the guests had started strolling in. the small talk. the rush. all mirrored his funeral too much. it felt as though his body had just been carried away for the cremation when my father and his family arrived for the wedding celebrations. - amrik singh (1959–1990) i am sorry this world could not keep you safe may your journey home be a soft and peaceful one - rest in peace [image: ] your legs buckle like a tired horse running for safety drag them by the hips and move faster you do not have the privilege to rest in a country that wants to spit you out you have to keep going and going and going till you reach the water hand over everything in your name for a ticket onto the boat next to a hundred others like you packed like sardines you tell the woman beside you this boat is not strong enough to carry this much sorrow to a shore what does it matter she says if drowning is easier than staying how many people has this water drunk up is it all one long cemetery bodies buried without a country perhaps the sea is your country perhaps the boat sinks because it is the only place that will take you - boat what if we get to their doors and they slam them shut i ask what are doors she says when we’ve escaped the belly of the beast [image: ] borders are man-made they only divide us physically don’t let them make us turn on each other - we are not enemies after the surgery she tells me how bizarre it is that they just took out the first home of her children - hysterectomy february 2016 [image: ] bombs brought entire cities down to their knees today refugees boarded boats knowing their feet may never touch land again police shot people dead for the color of their skin last month i visited an orphanage of abandoned babies left on the curbside like waste later at the hospital i watched a mother lose both her child and her mind somewhere a lover died how can i refuse to believe my life is anything short of a miracle if amidst all this chaos i was given this life - circumstances perhaps we are all immigrants trading one home for another first we leave the womb for air then the suburbs for the filthy city in search of a better life some of us just happen to leave entire countries [image: ] my god is not waiting inside a church or sitting above the temple’s steps my god is the refugee’s breath as she’s running is living in the starving child’s belly is the heartbeat of the protest my god does not rest between pages written by holy men my god lives between the sweaty thighs of women’s bodies sold for money was last seen washing the homeless man’s feet my god is not as unreachable as they’d like you to think my god is beating inside us infinitely advice i would’ve given my mother on her wedding day you are allowed to say no years ago his father beat the language of love out of your husband’s back he will never know how to say it but his actions prove he loves you go with him when he enters your body and goes to that place sex is not dirty no matter how many times his family brings it up do not have the abortion just because i’m a girl lock the relatives out and swallow the key he will not hate you take your journals and paintings across the ocean when you leave these will remind you who you are when you get lost amid new cities they will also remind your children you had an entire life before them when your husbands are off working at the factories make friends with all the other lonely women in the apartment complex this loneliness will cut a person in half you will need each other to stay alive your husband and children will take from your plate we will emotionally and mentally starve you all of it is wrong don’t let us convince you that sacrificing yourself is how you must show love when your mother dies fly back for the funeral money comes and goes a mother is once in a lifetime you are allowed to spend a couple dollars on a coffee i know there was a time when we could not afford it but we are okay now. breathe. you can’t speak english fluently or operate a computer or cell phone we did that to you. it is not your fault. you are not any less than the other mothers with their flashy phones and designer clothing we confined you to the four walls of this home and worked you to the bone you have not been your own property for decades there was no rule book for how to be the first woman in your lineage to raise a family on a strange land by yourself you are the person i look up to most when i am about to shatter i think of your strength and harden i think you are a magician i want to fill the rest of your life with ease you are the hero of heroes the god of gods [image: ] in a dream i saw my mother with the love of her life and no children it was the happiest i’d ever seen her - what if you split the world into pieces and called them countries declared ownership on what never belonged to you and left the rest with nothing - colonize [image: ] my parents never sat us down in the evenings to share stories of their younger days. one was always working. the other too tired. perhaps being an immigrant does that to you. the cold terrain of the north engulfed them. their bodies were hard at work paying in blood and sweat for their citizenship. perhaps the weight of the new world was too much. and the pain and sorrow of the old was better left buried. i do wish i had unburied it though. i wish i’d pried their silence apart like a closed envelope. i wish i’d found a small opening at its very edge. pushed a finger inside and gently torn it open. they had an entire life before me which i am a stranger to. it would be my greatest regret to see them leave this place before i even got to know them. my voice is the offspring of two countries colliding what is there to be ashamed of if english and my mother tongue made love my voice is her father’s words and mother’s accent what does it matter if my mouth carries two worlds - accent [image: ] for years they were separated by oceans left with nothing but little photographs of each other smaller than passport-size photos hers was tucked into a golden locket his slipped inside his wallet at the end of the day when their worlds went quiet studying them was their only intimacy this was a time long before computers when families in that part of the world had not seen a telephone or laid their almond eyes on a colored television screen long before you and i as the wheels of the plane touched tarmac she wondered if this was the place had she boarded the right flight should’ve asked the air hostess twice like her husband suggested walking into baggage claim her heart beat so heavy she thought it might fall out eyes darting in every direction searching for what to do next when suddenly right there in the flesh he stood not a mirage—a man first came relief then bewilderment they’d imagined this reunion for years had rehearsed their lines but her mouth seemed to forget she felt a kick in her stomach when she saw the shadows circling his eyes and shoulders carrying an invisible weight it looked like the life had been drained out of him where was the person she had wed she wondered reaching for the golden locket the one with the photo of the man her husband did not look like anymore - the new world had drained him [image: ] what if there isn’t enough time to give her what she deserves do you think if i begged the sky hard enough my mother’s soul would return to me as my daughter so i can give her the comfort she gave me my whole life i want to go back in time and sit beside her. document her in a home movie so my eyes can spend the rest of their lives witnessing a miracle. the one whose life i never think of before mine. i want to know what she laughed about with friends. in the village within houses of mud and brick. surrounded by acres of mustard plant and sugarcane. i want to sit with the teenage version of my mother. ask about her dreams. become her pleated braid. the black kohl caressing her eyelids. the flour neatly packed into her fingertips. a page in her schoolbooks. even to be a single thread of her cotton dress would be the greatest gift. - to witness a miracle [image: ] 1790 he takes the newborn girl from his wife carries her to the neighboring room cradles her head with his left hand and gently snaps her neck with his right 1890 a wet towel to wrap her in grains of rice and sand in the nose a mother shares the trick with her daughter-in-law i had to do it she says as did my mother and her mother before her 1990 a newspaper article reads a hundred baby girls were found buried behind a doctor’s house in a neighboring village the wife wonders if that’s where he took her she imagines her daughter becoming the soil fertilizing the roots that feed this country 1998 oceans away in a toronto basement a doctor performs an illegal abortion on an indian woman who already has a daughter one is burden enough she says 2006 it’s easier than you think my aunties tell my mother they know a family who’ve done it three times they know a clinic. they could get mumma the number. the doctor even prescribes pills that guarantee a boy. they worked for the woman down the street they say now she has three sons 2012 twelve hospitals in the toronto area refuse to reveal a baby’s gender to expecting families until the thirtieth week of pregnancy all twelve hospitals are located in areas with high south asian immigrant populations - female infanticide | female feticide [image: ] remember the body of your community breathe in the people who sewed you whole it is you who became yourself but those before you are a part of your fabric - honor the roots when they buried me alive i dug my way out of the ground with palm and fist i howled so loud the earth rose in fear and the dirt began to levitate my whole life has been an uprising one burial after another - i will find my way out of you just fine [image: ] my mother sacrificed her dreams so i could dream [image: ] [image: ] broken english i think about the way my father pulled the family out of poverty without knowing what a vowel was and my mother raised four children without being able to construct a perfect sentence in english a discombobulated couple who landed in the new world with hopes that left the bitter taste of rejection in their mouths no family no friends just man and wife two university degrees that meant nothing one mother tongue that was broken now one swollen belly with a baby inside a father worrying about jobs and rent cause no matter what this baby was coming and they thought to themselves for a split second was it worth it to put all of our money into the dream of a country that is swallowing us whole papa looks at his woman’s eyes and sees loneliness living where the iris was wants to give her a home in a country that looks at her with the word visitor wrapped around its tongue on their wedding day she left an entire village to be his wife now she left an entire country to be a warrior and when the winter came they had nothing but the heat of their own bodies to keep the coldness out like two brackets they faced one another to hold the dearest parts of them—their children—close they turned a suitcase full of clothes into a life and regular paychecks to make sure the children of immigrants wouldn’t hate them for being the children of immigrants they worked too hard you can tell by their hands their eyes are begging for sleep but our mouths were begging to be fed and that is the most artistic thing i have ever seen it is poetry to these ears that have never heard what passion sounds like and my mouth is full of likes and ums when i look at their masterpiece cause there are no words in the english language that can articulate that kind of beauty i can’t compact their existence into twenty-six letters and call it a description i tried once but the adjectives needed to describe them don’t even exist so instead i ended up with pages and pages full of words followed by commas and more words and more commas only to realize there are some things in the world so infinite they could never use a full stop so how dare you mock your mother when she opens her mouth and broken english spills out don’t be ashamed of the fact that she split through countries to be here so you wouldn’t have to cross a shoreline her accent is thick like honey hold it with your life it’s the only thing she has left of home don’t you stomp on that richness instead hang it up on the walls of museums next to dali and van gogh her life is brilliant and tragic kiss the side of her tender cheek she already knows what it feels like to have an entire nation laugh when she speaks she is more than our punctuation and language we might be able to paint pictures and write stories but she made an entire world for herself how is that for art [image: ] on the first day of love you wrapped me in the word special [image: ] you must remember it too how the rest of the city slept while we sat awakened for the first time we hadn’t touched yet but we managed to travel in and out of each other with our words our limbs dizzying with enough electricity to form half a sun we drank nothing that night but i was intoxicated i went home and thought are we soul mates i feel apprehensive cause falling into you means falling out of him and i had not prepared for that - forward [image: ] how do i welcome in kindness when i have only practiced spreading my legs for the terrifying what am i to do with you if my idea of love is violence but you are sweet if your concept of passion is eye contact but mine is rage how can i call this intimacy if i crave sharp edges but your edges aren’t even edges they are soft landings how do i teach myself to accept a healthy love if all i’ve ever known is pain i will welcome a partner who is my equal [image: ] never feel guilty for starting again the middle place is strange the part between them and the next is an awakening from how you saw to how you will see this is where their charm wears off where they are no longer the god you made them out to be when the pedestal you carved out of your bone and teeth no longer serves them they are unmasked and made mortal again - the middle place [image: ] when you start loving someone new you laugh at the indecisiveness of love remember when you were sure the last one was the one and now here you are redefining the one all over again - a fresh love is a gift i do not need the kind of love that is draining i want someone who energizes me [image: ] i am trying to not make you pay for their mistakes i am trying to teach myself you are not responsible for the wound how can i punish you for what you have not done you wear my emotions like a decorated army vest you are not cold or savage or hungry you are medicinal you are not them he makes sure to look right at me as he places his electric fingers on my skin how does that feel he asks commanding my attention responding is out of the question i quiver with anticipation excited and terrified for what’s to come he smiles knows this is what satisfaction looks like i am a switchboard he is the circuits my hips move with his—rhythmic my voice isn’t my own when i moan—it is music like fingers on a violin string he sparks enough electricity within me to power a city when we finish i look right at him and tell him that was magic [image: ] when i walked into the coffee shop and saw you. my body did not react like it had the first time. i waited for my heart to abandon me. for my legs to freeze up. to fall to the ground crying at your sight. nothing happened. there was no connection or movement inside when we locked eyes. you looked like a regular guy with your regular clothes and regular coffee. nothing profound about you. i don’t give myself enough credit. my body must have cleansed itself of you long ago. must have gotten tired of me behaving like i’d lost the best thing to have happened. and wrung the insecurities out while i was busy wallowing in pity. that day i had no makeup on. my hair was all over the place. i was wearing my brother’s old t-shirt and pajama pants. yet i felt like a gleaming siren. a mermaid. i did a little dance in the car while driving home. even though we were both under the same roof of that coffee shop. i was still solar systems away from you. [image: ] the orange trees refused to blossom unless we bloomed first when we met they wept tangerines can’t you tell the earth has waited its whole life for this - celebration [image: ] why am i always running in circles between wanting you to want me and when you want me deciding it is too emotionally naked for me to live with why do i make loving me so difficult as if you should never have to witness the ghosts i have tucked under my breast i used to be more open when it came to matters like this my love - if only we’d met when i was that willing i could not contain myself any longer i ran to the ocean in the middle of the night and confessed my love for you to the water as i finished telling her the salt in her body became sugar [image: ] (ode to sobha singh’s sohni mahiwal) i say maybe this is a mistake. maybe we need more than love to make this work. you place your lips on mine. when our faces are buzzing with the ecstasy of kissing you say tell me that isn’t right. and as much as i’d like to think with my head. my racing heart is all that makes sense. there. right there is the answer you’re looking for. in my loss of breath. my lack of words. my silence. my inability to speak means you’ve filled my stomach with so many butterflies that even if this is a mistake. it could only be right to be this wrong with you. a man who cries - a gift [image: ] if i’m going to share my life with a partner it would be foolish not to ask myself twenty years from now is this person going to be someone i still laugh with or am i just distracted by their charm do i see us evolving into new people by the decade or does the growing ever come to a pause i don’t want to be distracted by the looks or the money i want to know if they pull the best or the worst out of me deep at the core are our values the same in thirty years will we still jump into bed like we’re twenty can i picture us in old age conquering the world like we’ve got young blood running in our veins - checklist what is it with you and sunflowers he asks i point to the field of yellow outside sunflowers worship the sun i tell him only when it arrives do they rise when the sun leaves they bow their heads in mourning that is what the sun does to those flowers it’s what you do to me - the sun and her flowers [image: ] sometimes i stop myself from saying the words out loud as if leaving my mouth too often might wear them down - i love you the most important conversations we’ll have are with our fingers when yours nervously graze mine for the first time during dinner they’ll tighten with fear when you ask to see me again next week but as soon as i say yes they’ll stretch out in ease when they grasp one another while we’re beneath the sheets the two of us will pretend we’re not weak in the knees when i get angry they’ll pulse with bitter cries but when they tremble for forgiveness you’ll see what apologies look like and when one of us is dying on a hospital bed at eighty-five your fingers will grip mine to say things words can’t describe - fingers [image: ] this morning i told the flowers what i’d do for you and they blossomed there is no place i end and you begin when your body is in my body we are one person - sex [image: ] if i had to walk to get to you it would take eight hundred and twenty-six hours on bad days i think about it what i might do if the apocalypse comes and the planes stop flying there is so much time to think so much empty space wanting to be consumed but no intimacy around to consume it it feels like being stuck at a train station waiting and waiting and waiting for the one with your name on it when the moon rises on this coast but the sun still burns shamelessly on yours i crumble knowing even our skies are different we have been together so long but have we really been together if your touch has not held me long enough to imprint itself on my skin i try my hardest to stay present but without you here everything at its best is only mediocre - long distance i am made of water of course i am emotional [image: ] they should feel like home a place that grounds your life where you go to take the day off - the one the moon is responsible for pulling tides out of still water darling i am the still water and you are the moon [image: ] the right one does not stand in your way they make space for you to step forward when you are full and i am full we are two suns [image: ] your voice does to me what autumn does to trees you call to say hello and my clothes fall naturally together we are an endless conversation [image: ] when death takes my hand i will hold you with the other and promise to find you in every lifetime - commitment it was as though someone had slid ice cubes down the back of my shirt - orgasm [image: ] you have been inside me before - another lifetime god must have kneaded you and i from the same dough rolled us out as one on the baking sheet must have suddenly realized how unfair it was to put that much magic in one person and sadly split that dough in two how else is it that when i look in the mirror i am looking at you when you breathe my own lungs fill with air that we just met but we have known each other our whole lives if we were not made as one to begin with - our souls are mirrors [image: ] to be two legs on one body - a relationship you must have a honeycomb for a heart how else could a man be this sweet [image: ] if you got any more beautiful the sun would leave its place and come for you - the chase it has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. i learned everything is temporary. moments. feelings. people. flowers. i learned love is about giving. everything. and letting it hurt. i learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. i learned all things come in twos. life and death. pain and joy. salt and sugar. me and you. it is the balance of the universe. it has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. making friends out of strangers. making strangers out of friends. learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix just about everything. and for the pains it can’t there will always be my mother’s arms. we must learn to focus on warm energy. always. soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world. for if we can’t learn to be kind to each other how will we ever learn to be kind to the most desperate parts of ourselves. [image: ] [image: ] the universe took its time on you crafted you to offer the world something different from everyone else when you doubt how you were created you doubt an energy greater than us both - irreplaceable [image: ] when the first woman spread her legs to let the first man in what did he see when she led him down the hallway toward the sacred room what sat waiting what shook him so deeply that all confidence shattered from then on the first man watched the first woman every night and day built a cage to keep her in so she could sin no more he set fire to her books called her witch and shouted whore until the evening came when his tired eyes betrayed him the first woman noticed it as he unwillingly fell asleep the quiet humming the drumming a knocking between her legs a doorbell a voice a pulse asking her to open up and off her hand went running down the hall toward the sacred room she found god the magician’s wand the snake’s tongue sitting inside her smiling - when the first woman drew magic with her fingers [image: ] i will no longer compare my path to others - i refuse to do a disservice to my life i am the product of all the ancestors getting together and deciding these stories need to be told [image: ] many tried but failed to catch me i am the ghost of ghosts everywhere and nowhere i am magic tricks within magic within magic none have figured out i am a world wrapped in worlds folded in suns and moons you can try but you won’t get those hands on me upon my birth my mother said there is god in you can you feel her dancing [image: ] (ode to matisse’s dance) as a father of three daughters it would have been normal for him to push marriage on us this has been the narrative for the women in my culture for hundreds of years instead he pushed education knowing it would set us free in a world that wanted to contain us he made sure that we learned to walk independently there are far too many mouths here but not enough of them are worth what you’re offering give yourself to a few and to those few give heavily - invest in the right people [image: ] i am of the earth and to the earth i shall return once more life and death are old friends and i am the conversation between them i am their late-night chatter their laughter and tears what is there to be afraid of if i am the gift they give to each other this place never belonged to me anyway i have always been theirs to hate is an easy lazy thing but to love takes strength everyone has but not all are willing to practice [image: ] beautiful brown girl your thick hair is a mink coat not all can afford beautiful brown girl you hate the hyperpigmentation but your skin can’t help carrying as much sun as possible you are a magnet for the light unibrow—the bridging of two worlds vagina—so much darker than the rest of you cause it is trying to hide a gold mine you will have dark circles too early —appreciate the halos beautiful brown girl you pull god out of their bellies look down at your body[image: ] whisper there is no home like you - thank you learning to not envy someone else’s blessings is what grace looks like i am the first woman in my lineage with freedom of choice. to craft her future whichever way i choose. say what is on my mind when i want to. without the whip of the lash. there are hundreds of firsts i am thankful for. that my mother and her mother and her mother did not have the privilege of feeling. what an honor. to be the first woman in the family who gets to taste her desires. no wonder i am starving to fill up on this life. i have generations of bellies to eat for. the grandmothers must be howling with laughter. huddled around a mud stove in the afterlife. sipping on steaming glasses of milky masala chai. how wild it must be for them to see one of their own living so boldly. [image: ] (ode to amrita sher-gil’s village scene 1938) trust your body it reacts to right and wrong better than your mind does - it is speaking to you i stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can i do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther - legacy [image: ] when i go from this place dress the porch with garlands as you would for a wedding my dear pull the people from their homes and dance in the streets when death arrives like a bride at the aisle send me off in my brightest clothing serve ice cream with rose petals to our guests there’s no reason to cry my dear i have waited my whole life for such a beauty to take my breath away when i go let it be a celebration for i have been here i have lived i have won at this game called life - funeral it was when i stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself i found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole [image: ] what good am i if i do not fill the plates of the ones who fed me but fill the plates of strangers - family even if they’ve been separated they’ll end up together you can’t keep lovers apart no matter how much i pluck and pull them my eyebrows always find their way back to each other - unibrow [image: ] a child and an elder sat across from each other at a table a cup of milk and tea before them the elder asked the child if she was enjoying her life the child answered yes life was good but she couldn’t wait to grow up and do grown-up things then the child asked the elder the same question he too said life was good but he’d give anything to go back to an age where moving and dreaming were still possibilities they both took a sip from their cups but the child’s milk had curdled the elder’s tea had grown bitter there were tears running from their eyes the day you have everything i hope you remember when you had nothing [image: ] she is not a porn category or the type you look for on a friday night she is not needy or easy or weak - daddy issues is not a punch line i long to be a lily pad [image: ] i made change after change on the road to perfection but when i finally felt beautiful enough their definition of beauty suddenly changed what if there is no finish line and in an attempt to keep up i lose the gifts i was born with for a beauty so insecure it can’t commit to itself - the lies they sell you want to keep the blood and the milk hidden as if the womb and breast never fed you [image: ] it is a trillion-dollar industry that would collapse if we believed we were beautiful enough already [image: ] their concept of beauty is manufactured i am not - human [image: ] how do i shake this envy when i see you doing well sister how do i love myself enough to know your accomplishments are not my failures - we are not each other’s competition it is a blessing to be the color of earth do you know how often flowers confuse me for home [image: ] we need more love not from men but from ourselves and each other - medicine you are a mirror if you continue to starve yourself of love you’ll only meet people who’ll starve you too if you soak yourself in love the universe will hand you those who’ll love you too - a simple math [image: ] how much or how little clothing she has on has nothing to do with how free she is - covered | uncovered there are mountains growing beneath our feet that cannot be contained all we’ve endured has prepared us for this bring your hammers and fists we have a glass ceiling to shatter - let’s leave this place roofless [image: ] it isn’t blood that makes you my sister it’s how you understand my heart as though you carry it in your body what is the greatest lesson a woman should learn that since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself it’s the world that convinced her she did not [image: ] they convinced me i only had a few good years left before i was replaced by a girl younger than me as though men yield power with age but women grow into irrelevance they can keep their lies for i have just gotten started i feel as though i just left the womb my twenties are the warm-up for what i’m really about to do wait till you see me in my thirties now that will be a proper introduction to the nasty. wild. woman in me. how can i leave before the party’s started rehearsals begin at forty i ripen with age i do not come with an expiration date and now for the main event curtains up at fifty let’s begin the show - timeless to heal you have to get to the root of the wound and kiss it all the way up [image: ] they threw us in a pit to end each other so they wouldn’t have to starved us of space so long we had to eat each other up to stay alive look up look up look up to catch them looking down at us how can we compete with each other when the real monster is too big to take down alone when my daughter is living in my belly i will speak to her like she’s already changed the world she will walk out of me on a red carpet fully equipped with the knowledge that she’s capable of anything she sets her mind to [image: ] (ode to raymond douillet’s a short tour and farewell) [image: ] now is not the time to be quiet or make room for you when we have had no room at all now is our time to be mouthy get as loud as we need to be heard [image: ] [image: ] representation is vital otherwise the butterfly surrounded by a group of moths unable to see itself will keep trying to become the moth - representation [image: ] take the compliment do not shy away from another thing that belongs to you our work should equip the next generation of women to outdo us in every field this is the legacy we’ll leave behind - progress [image: ] the road to changing the world is never-ending - pace yourself the necessity to protect you overcame me i love you too much to remain quiet as you weep watch me rise to kiss the poison out of you i will resist the temptation of my tired feet and keep marching with tomorrow in one hand and a fist in the other i will carry you to freedom - love letter to the world [image: ] have your eyes ever fallen upon a beast like me i have the spine of a mulberry tree the neck of a sunflower sometimes i am the desert at times the rain forest but always the wild my belly brims over the waistband of my pants each strand of hair frizzing out like a lifeline it took a long time to become such a sweet rebellion back then i refused to water my roots till i realized if i am the only one who can be the wilderness then let me be the wilderness the tree trunk cannot become the branch the jungle cannot become the garden so why should i - it is so full here in myself many try but cannot tell the difference between a marigold and my skin both of them are an orange sun blinding the ones who have not learned to love the light [image: ] if you have never stood with the oppressed there is still time - lift them the year is done. i spread the past three hundred sixty-five days before me on the living room carpet. here is the month i decided to shed everything not deeply committed to my dreams. the day i refused to be a victim to the self-pity. here is the week i slept in the garden. the spring i wrung the self-doubt by its neck. hung your kindness up. took down the calendar. the week i danced so hard my heart learned to float above water again. the summer i unscrewed all the mirrors from their walls. no longer needed to see myself to feel seen. combed the weight out of my hair. i fold the good days up and place them in my back pocket for safekeeping. draw the match. cremate the unnecessary. the light of the fire warms my toes. i pour myself a glass of warm water to cleanse myself for january. here i go. stronger and wiser into the new. [image: ] there is nothing left to worry about the sun and her flowers are here. [image: ] [image: ] [image: ] and then there are days when the simple act of breathing leaves you exhausted. it seems easier to give up on this life. the thought of disappearing brings you peace. for so long i was lost in a place where there was no sun. where there grew no flowers. but every once in a while out of the darkness something i loved would emerge and bring me to life again. witnessing a starry sky. the lightness of laughing with old friends. a reader who told me the poems had saved their life. yet there i was struggling to save my own. my darlings. living is difficult. it is difficult for everybody. and it is at that moment when living feels like crawling through a pin-sized hole. that we must resist the urge of succumbing to bad memories. refuse to bow before bad months or bad years. cause our eyes are starving to feast on this world. there are so many turquoise bodies of water left for us to dive in. there is family. blood or chosen. the possibility of falling in love. with people and places. hills high as the moon. valleys that roll into new worlds. and road trips. i find it deeply important to accept that we are not the masters of this place. we are her visitors. and like guests let’s enjoy this place like a garden. let us treat it with a gentle hand. so the ones after us can experience it too. let’s find our own sun. grow our own flowers. the universe delivered us with the light and the seeds. we might not hear it at times but the music is always on. it just needs to be turned louder. for as long as there is breath in our lungs—we must keep dancing. [image: ] [image: ] rupi kaur is a #1 new york times bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry. she started drawing at the age of five when her mother handed her a paintbrush and said—draw your heart out. rupi views her life as an exploration of that artistic journey. after completing her degree in rhetoric studies she published her first collection of poems milk and honey in 2014. the internationally acclaimed collection sold well over a million copies gracing the new york times bestseller list every week for over a year. it has since been translated into over thirty languages. her long-awaited second collection the sun and her flowers was published in 2017. through this collection she continues to explore a variety of themes ranging from love. loss. trauma. healing. femininity. migration. revolution. rupi has performed her poetry across the world. her photography and art direction are warmly embraced and she hopes to continue this expression for years to come. - about the author [image: ] [image: ] the sun and her flowers is a collection of poetry about grief self-abandonment honoring one’s roots love and empowering oneself it is split into five chapters wilting. falling. rooting. rising. and blooming. - about the book [image: ]