Letters of Youth


/ 26 November 2021




Broken Home by Tressa Lacey, 2018


There’s only one piece of chicken leg for everyone, that’s how we lived.

There’s only one cup of rice on an aged plastic plate, that’s how we lived.

One piece of dried fish, one cup of iced tea, one banana to keep our tummy full. 

And when it’s my birthday, my mother buys a cheap chiffon cake from Julie’s Bakeshop.

She always does the trick to make it appear expensive– with yellow bell flowers from her garden and a touch of rose petals.

One candle that melts even before we finish the song.

Even before I could blow and make a wish.

That’s how we lived.

The roof rusted and when it rains, the drops fill up the soup. 

Still, we took a sip to keep us warm while we shiver, hug, and be each other’s warmth. 

It was the coldest time of our lives. Still, we lived.

Now, the roof is all new.

A shiny share of shade.

The ceiling higher, the wall painted like a masterpiece

But everything feels like a blank canvas.

The plates are a fancy set of ceramic Corolla, 

But it breaks when it falls.

I bleed when I pick its shattered pieces.

My shattered pieces.

There’s a lot to feed from the fridge but my heart is starving.

I am emotionally malnourished despite the abundance.

A residential corpse in a house that’s no longer home.

That’s how I died.