my horoscope tells me it’s time to give up on giving up &
by Wai Mun Mah


instead i fold myself back into my bed
with a jar of peanut butter and some
toast i’ve left freezing from last month’s pay cycle.
sadness is a cat i’ve invited to stay and read the news with me and
like anything that sits on your chest for too long, i can’t decide
if its weight is a comfort or a burden.  

i put out dishes of milk
& when that doesn’t work,
(unsurprisingly, sadness is lactose-intolerant)
i make a meal out of every
which i’m told
is consumable:
the swirl of my figure and my efficiency at work and my jaw bullet-pumping, yes, yes, yes!  

what if sadness is lonely too? i ask my family.
i know I’m being unreasonable.
i’m just looking for a reason for something to stay
what if sadness is a girl in a white dress someone left behind in a field on her wedding day?
what then,
what then?   

what if sadness, i ask the internet, is actually what plato was referring to when he talked about the concept of other halves? what if it’s part of what makes us whole?
and the internet, all five commenters on twitter, tell me i’m trying to capitalise on my grief 
Sad Girl Theory
Sad Girl Trust Fund
no one will pay for this performance art! 

sadness is a soft, small cat
pricked claws
scarf tail
for whom, really, i’m just trying to find a home
for whom i’m trying to justify the ongoing expiry date


what if sadness, i ask the new morning, is an engine?
by which i mean, i'm thinking of the cat’s motorised purr on my chest
& how i can’t tell if it’s the thing to drive me somewhere or if it’s the thing that drives me
what if sadness is the engine check? what if sadness is the prelude?  

my horoscope tells me it’s time to give up on giving up
& i think about how a cluster of gaseous bodies to which we’ve given names
distant, dark,
don’t know me any better than this little thing right here.  

i can still breathe out.

Wai Mun Mah is a Pisces sun, Libra moon and Aries rising. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she studies a Masters of Publishing and Writing and works as an animation scriptwriter. Her work has been published in Pidgeonholes, Porridge, and produced on stage for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. In what little spare time she has left, she interns at Going Down Swinging and tweets at @mahginalatbest