after all

November 10, 2017 68 By Maggie Tan

may days drawing to an end,

your hands figure skating on my lower back,

when did it all start anyway.

perhaps it was in those equatorial pools where we left our skidmarks,

perhaps it was the graceful blue kiss imprinted on our retinas,

perhaps it was was the jars where we collected our strange memories,

perhaps it was the long burnt letters of unrequited adoration,

and perhaps it was really, on the basketball court where the quest for love began.

we were so young and innocent, running through rainforests in the pouring rain,

laughing and making faces,

who cared about the next chapter then.

but life goes on, childhood sweethearts revisited at a later stage.

critical decisions made, where the planes flew over the pacific,

and landed in a land of lushness, where the paradigm initiates its first shift.




lanes winding down to moments where we keep in our hearts,

we rode high on waves of kitts camps and polar bear dips,

green fairies above our heads,

accented by your fingers and tongues.

across the atlantic pond,

after a year of rebellion,

we found out that we owned the world.

that is the price of youth,

why did we rush, why oh why.

as if we could not wait till the tickling clock to strike 1:08.

fools were thought to be geniuses, these bottles of wine slowly aged its way to more sophistication.

or so we thought.

did someone say, europe? goddess of the glorious past.

we stopped chewing bubblegums and embarked on something rather grander.

affirmed after the guitar strumming nights and huckleberry finn,

how supportive of youth america became.

somehow, you and i did not think that was it.

what is of it? what is it?




paris, october 2009

m: let’s go to the cinema.

e: i can’t move.

m: stay put. i’ll be back.


donned your fedora and out we go. strolling through these cobblestoned streets, i stuffed my face with banana and nutella crepes. i saw harvard on champs elysee, one can’t forget that moroccan face. on pont neuf, they sang our songs. but cafe de flore taught us that in such banal instances, we pause. looking down at the river seine, do you dare to jump? i sat in the theatre for eternity, listening to a foreign language. madame, s’il vouuuuus plait. non, je comprende. je comprende tout.




collections of plots, characters and novel ideas,

we’re really just hopeless romantics after all.

the absurdity of life we revel in, 1984 put on hold please.

this energy needs to be released, nobody is destined for greatness.

our existence is quite selfish.

fatalistic you say? i beg to differ.

an ex believer in selflessness, how plotless would your story be.

learn to flow with the deviations, as long as you stay true.

we tried and we forget.

we run after some kind of fantasy, only to find that we are alone.

but hey, it ain’t so bad. not at all.

benevolence is ubiquitous, we show the way for ourselves.

light the path to our nucleus, breathing with such a surreal flame.

maybe the time isn’t right, but when it comes, we will know.

i am patient.


rushmore bliss.

come back to me.

and never leave me.




exactly this time two years ago, we lounged in our turkish tents,

on some godforsaken beach in the middle of nowhere,

twinkling skies formed our wallpaper.

exactly this time a year ago, we hiked up an abandoned abkhaz parliament building,

in some godforsaken town in the middle of nowhere,

twinkling skies formed our wallpaper.

so where are we really? do we keep replaying the same song,

with variations in each act?


via garibaldi, en route to chicago, lund university.

moscow, praha, wien, budapest, toledo, warsaw.

barcelona, berlin, vilnius, sochi, leeds, hong kong.

brighton, helsinki, accra, tromso, manchester, stuttgart.

new york, krakow, stockholm, kuala lumpur, volgograd.


you entered my head.

you entered my soul.

how the divine constellations arranged our encounters.

la grande bellezza sprinkles our bodies with stardusts,

urging us to explore each other and everything around us.

i am so grateful for them.


let me return the kindness.

for if it weren’t for you, my blessed journey would turn to be quite different.