baby panda

December 10, 2001 - Malaysia
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i was eating breakfast
when the morning sun warmed my skin
it was then that i belatedly realised
my skin wasn't tanned anymore
it no longer glowed in the sunlight

the last after a long string of
things i have lost in the past two years
i suppose, after all it's been
a catastrophic two years
it brings a strange, muted melancholy

i turn my wrist in the light
and the dull paleness
reminds me of things i have not thought about
in a long time

days in the sweltering heat
under an unforgiving sun
high school brass band training
was not for the weak-minded
and golf training when the sun was
at it's hottest
was not for the fickle

but they were days when i still felt human

the past years i have lived
more like a ghost
than a human
closeted in a house, shaded windows,
i stared at books endlessly
instead of the sun, the moon
witnessed my most difficult times
and so the sun in my skin slowly
eventually
leached away
and it is once again
an empty vessel

how trivial, you must say
this is really not something
to make a big deal out of
and i agree
perhaps it is the fact that i made it out alive
despite living like that
that surprised me

after all i was convinced
every day was the last

the fact that i had to lose many things
even the last reminder
of days long since passed, i
guess one's humanity can be rebuilt only
when the ashes and the ruins of the past
whether it was the part ghosts would have feasted on
or the part where they had not existed yet
have all dissipated in the wind
forever

they say good things come in pairs
is that how
i'm supposed to take the last two years?

that would be the better option, wouldn't it
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