God’s Plan

A poem


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Infatuated you are

with the dream of me.

One date and you’ve already determined what I would be.

But mind you, I’m not destined to be yours,

some woman you lust for deep in your core.

The way you behave,

I cannot make you a man,

but your sins and flaws,

that’s all up to God’s plan.

I asked to be friends,

and that you refuse.

You want me to be yours,

but that’s my decision to choose.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Silence

A poem


Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash

The dust of the object

envelopes her eyes.

She was entranced by the drift of memories,

how a once something

could disintegrate into the particles of time.

Fooled by white beauty,

she breathes in the toxins.

She speaks,

but no sound would come:

it was not allowed,

she was to be silent.

A Pandora’s box

of music and muse,

of beauty and deception,

of silence and the silenced.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Unequivocal Love

A story of sisterhood 


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

With a worn heart,

I made myself believe

that her love was enough.

I love her so,

but her betrayal runs deep.

The tears I fought not to run,

the shattered words that ran past me,

all were but taken by tokens of silence.

I plead to be broken from a love that is unequivocal,

but I forgive too easily,

she forgets too fast.

So for the seconds we are together,

when she is just with me,

what lies are

the wounds that heal but only to the surface,

the bruises that awaken again with every beating,

the cuts too deep to remember the first feeling of pain.

The broken fragments

that once was the purity of our love,

I still cradle them in my sleep

because I love her so.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Falling

A story of love


Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash

It was printed black and blue,

the sky.

It was the bitterness of winter,

the bloom of spring,

the dreams of summer,

the death of fall.

It was printed black and blue

for us.

This is the story of how the world began to fall,

how suddenly there was a shift in weight and

everything slowly and then quickly tumbled over,

how the dreamers reached for the stars and when they touch them,

it torched their souls,

how the innocent became corrupted,

how love rose to only fall.

This is the story of the leaf that fell from the tree after being too heavy for it,

after realizing it must let go.

And so it did.

And it fell

and fell

and fell.

Rocking back and forth,

suspended in the air that demanded it forward,

falling and falling

until finally,

with its lips barely touching the ground,

it closed its eyes for the end.

This was the story of us.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

War is Over

A poem


Photo by Антон Дмитриев on Unsplash

A chime that marked the end,

its silence trembled

through the alleys and streets,

rippling through the cities,

becoming barricades for those who lived in them.

The silence,

it engulfed them.

Made them weak,

made them coward,

made them kneel.

Their mighty has fallen,

their obedience is now required.

In just hints of seconds,

the message that bore no warning

made their city cry red.



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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

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As women, when will enough be enough?

In the beginning of 2007, women began to share their experience with sexual harassment and assaults with the hashtag #metoo being the unifying bond. In over a decade, the #metoo movement continues to run as more women and men still share their stories.

But is there is going to be a time where women can stop saying #metoo?


Photo by Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash

The news of Andrew Cuomo is not new news, but one that I’m shelving away to be burdened with many others. Stories of the all too familiar tales of men who got away with everything are just too common — Donald J, Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby, to name a few.

Why didn’t you say anything?

In 2018, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave her testimony on Brett Kavanaugh and instead of preventing a sexual predator from obtaining a seat on the Supreme Court, Dr. Ford was simply thanked for her time.

Our society believes our stories are worth listening to, but our stories seem to fall short from the need to act to pure entertainment.

Nationwide, 81% of women reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime (National Sexual Violence Research Center). Amongst my small intimate group of girlfriends, sexual harassment is a shared experience — one that has no joy, but rather, one that is of rage, frustration and disappointment.

It happened so long ago.

Yes, and I wish I could forget it too.

When I was 20, I was a hostess at a restaurant where I was sexualized and fetishized as an Asian woman. Being quiet and shy, my boss took advantage of me. In my time there, he verbally abused me in front of other workers and I often was afraid of coming to work. One day, he was drunk and apologized for always screaming at me. It was the only time he displayed kindness, but he did it all while caressing my back.

With my boss leading the way, many coworkers followed his lead. I was touched too many times without my consent, and I found myself being undressed by the wandering eyes of my male colleagues.

But the trauma didn’t start then and it didn’t end there.

In middle school, my friend had rubbed his hands over his chest as he stared at me to simply tell me I was flat chested. My best friend had called me a slut without a reason and I was scared to find out why.

In high school, a schoolmate snuck up behind me and asked how I would feel if he slammed me against the lockers and touched me. Once during our math class, he “helped” me eat a banana by placing it right in front of my mouth.

On my first night at university, I was given a ride to a frat party, courtesy of one of their brothers. When I wanted to go home, I could not find my driver again and realized there was no intention for me to get a ride back. In a time that was pre-Uber/ Lyft, I chose to walk home alone that night.

Among undergraduate students, 26.4% of females experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (RAINN).

I was lucky to get home untouched.

What were you wearing that night?

A nice blouse and shorts, perhaps.

It was only in high school when I took action. My counselor was a woman who had spent the last three years building a relationship with me, and she gained my trust. When I told her about the incidents, she immediately contacted the school dean, a kick-ass woman, where action was taken within days. I was thanked for my bravery in coming forward and granted my request for the student to remain a safe distance from me.

At college and the workplace, however, I found neither the same effectiveness nor urgency. With their businesses on the line, there seemed to be more effort in protecting the reputation of the institutes involved and more often than not, stories were dismissed, women were paid for their silence and life carried on — for the men, at least.

Donald J. Trump became the President of the U.S., despite 26 accusers.

Bill Cosby walked free, despite 60 accusers.

Brett Kavanaugh became a Supreme Court justice with the entire U.S. watching.

The danger in not taking stronger action is the pervasiveness of these incidents to continue to occur. Out of 1000 sexual assaults, only 3% of perpetrators will go to jail or prison.

97% of perpetrators will walk free to do it again (RAINN).

Why didn’t you come to us sooner?

My friend was stalked for several years. He knew where she worked, where she went to school, her close friends and her social media accounts. He blackmailed her with her own photos, and demanded money. After years of harassment, she decided to file a police report where she was then told her situation was not urgent enough.

To tell our stories publicly takes a tremendous amount of courage, and it takes time to build that up. It is not that we are afraid to tell our stories, but rather, we are afraid to be told we overreacted. In our world, it only takes one denial, one person to second guess our stories to make us feel uncomfortable in confiding in someone again.

As women, we simply lost trust in the institutions that failed to protect us. Because we are the victims, yet in this twisted reality that we live in, we are also the culprit.

Bullshit.



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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

History’s Time

A poem

Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash

How the disease of time

will ride to every prevail.

It gives no hope of letting go,

just a promise of mankind’s lucky touch.

Leave, I tell it.

It does not but yet, smiles.

I shudder in fear of the evil it will awaken,

the evil that will grasp us all.

Leave, I repeat.

It does not but yet, smiles.

I cannot, it says.

For I live in time,

and in time,

I am in your vein.

You will perish,

but I will survive.

I have race time from the start;

I have only fallen behind.

But when I emerge, you will see:

history has and always will be mine.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Stay

A poem

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Your smile covers your worries,

but your eyes give you away.

The war at home,

your family,

they are in imperial danger.

The distance between you and them is an ocean,

you are forced to stay here tonight.

Your sorrow falls on my hands,

your decision I already know.

The choice wasn’t yours to make,

but even the stars could not lead you home.

Your Muslim princess awaits her prince,

but your empire in America awaits its building.

The plans were already set in stone,

but only you did not know.

Stay, my love, stay.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Red Pen

A poem


Photo by Wanly Chen

A red pen.

That’s all it took to remind me of you.

The start of me dances after you,

with my footsteps racing upon yours.

Until I fell,

and someone else became your companion.

I could no longer catch up,

you no longer waited.

Your steps too big,

I became too far.

Our paths no longer parallel,

our stories became mine and yours.

I am no longer behind,

you are no longer in front.

We stand across,

in a standoff at times.

But with a fist in one hand,

I’ll still hold your hand.

We can laugh,

we can be troubled,

we will endure.

Your efforts are not wasted.

I see,

I know.

I fear you forget,

I fear you don’t notice,

how much you mean to me.

This red pen,

it is here with me.

When I write,

it writes of you.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

Patched Shoes

A poem


Photo by Md. Zahid Hasan Joy on Unsplash

Little plastic shoes,

step by step,

you walked until you finally broke.

For a few years,

you were the one who took me here and there,

but no memories I found of you

made me want to keep you.

Tonight you appear

outside my bedroom door,

seemingly to be

waiting just for me.

Strings of purple yarn and

a trying smile you give to me,

tied where you once ripped apart.

I puzzled at who gave you a fresh new start.

I stared and I stared,

and suddenly I knew.

Of course, of course,

it had to him too.

You were just broken, but not beyond repair.

With strings and a patient hand,

your life was fortunately spared.

You’d fumble as you walk,

but the purple now runs through you.

If it breaks,

you’ll wait till he finds you,

and maybe this time

it’ll be yarn that’s pink,

or white,

or blue

to bind you again,

and again,

and again.

You join the ranks of other –

old wires held together with tape,

shirts with mended holes,

and closets of broken doors.

You were our trash but his new prize possession,

the unworthy but still worthy.

To him,

you could walk until only pieces of you remain.

To him,

new or old, you were all just the same.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

The Pastor

A Poem

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Oh Holy Father,

forgive me for she has sinned.

She took your advice,

she gave up her other half,

the one that made her kin,

the one that raised her from small.

That day, she became devoted to God,

to Him and only Him.

She broke the statues,

she tore down the temples;

home, she doesn’t allow to smell

familiar anymore.

She saw her culture with hate,

demonizing the purity of traditions,

chastising and ridiculing those around her.

She divorced herself from her family,

choosing God over a faith her own mother taught her,

choosing God over us.

He is the only God she will believe in.

But Pastor, forgive her for she has sinned.

She reads the Bible at dawn, noon, and night.

She recites the words,

sings the hymns,

a deep cleansing of it all.

But Pastor, forgive her for she has sinned.

Her loyalty to Him is for him,

her son.

It is in vain,

she is not pure.

In a crosspatch of two roads,

she was taught only one road could be walked.

She was taught hate instead of love,

compassion to those only of God,

inequality versus humanity.

Her innocence, you corrupted.

Against the truth,

you gave her false hope.

Pastor, forgive me but you have sinned.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.

For Singapore

A letter

You were home.

You led the way to places I’ve only dreamed of going,

to friendships that broke boundaries,

to the memories that will only escape with the replacement of the new.

There’s not enough words to describe this haven I’ve just met.

So many stories,

so many laughs,

So much happiness

all just here.

I will not revisit the steps I have made:

it will break me too much.

The laughter will echo an uncomfortable silence,

the streets and neighborhoods become unfamiliar again,

and the woman who once was will have changed too much.

My months here have run its time:

I leave here bittersweet.

The memories I’ve made by chance now comes to an end.

A choice made parallel to one another diverges once more.

I leave you tomorrow,

but I will go with a heavy heart,

for I don’t want to leave

what I have just begun to call

home.


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©️ Wanly Chen ©️ thewriterscigarette 2021

All Rights Reserved.