how to fold a paper plane


step zero: when you make a paper plane
skin moving over every crease of this sheet
step by step– each one a second closer, and
you know it’s meant to leave your hand.

step one: start with folding the white paper into half
this is your heart.

step two: unfold it
this is the 6th month since you met her
today is the first day you see her.
let her see you.

step three: fold the top right corner into the centre crease
let her touch you. in all ways possible
manoeuvre, move together
forward and back
listen to the music– living room,
you hear? you here?

step four: do the same with the other corner
let her hold your hands. hold
her hands. let her reach into you
inside and out. feel her breath in
your flesh. feel the spaces in her being
fill you with all the softness
you wish you had.

step five: fold the paper into half again
here. you are happy.
be. tell her you are.

step six: fold the diagonal flap upwards so it follows the side of the paper
you miss her, you really fucking miss her.
you miss her beside you;
you miss her in dreams;
in mental dialogues that never,
and will never happen;
you miss her in imaginary spaces;
in thought cavities and
floating memories
you just do.

step seven: do the same on the other side.
you have loved her in all ways possible
or so you think you have. in showers
and bedsheet warmth
and the last seconds before you
fall asleep– quiet stairs
dimming lights
crowded trains
empty buses
and especially humming
humming in the pace
and amidst
your evening sounds
everything– she is in everything

step eight: fold the diagonal flap upwards another time
you try again. poetry in “lovely” pyramids
on the right– 186 apologies screaming
their sincerity and how
how do you know when she’ll
hear your voice amidst her sea?

step nine: do the same on the other side
it seems time passes at the rate
she does. goodnight.
every night
but you know it’ll always
be the same silence
on the
other side.

step ten: find an open space. aim and
is it time?
twist your shoulder back in the last step
of this mindless dancing– exhale
lift your wrist over your shoulder.
fling with careful precision.
forward, upward
let your fingers go.
watch her leave.
watch her fly, away from you
out of your thoughtless /
thoughtful fingers.

step eleven: look up, step back, remember–
you were the one who plotted her trajectory


6 thoughts on “how to fold a paper plane

  1. This poem is beautifully done, crafting a complexity of emotions around a simple paper plane.

    While reading this poem, tears couldn’t stop flowing, as it reminded me so much of the girl that I like, now in a urn, cremated. This poem enabled me to reconnect spiritually to the kiss that we had shared, the only passionate moment that had ever happened. I was going to propose to her the next day. She was a ballet dancer, very much like the one you described in your poem.

    Thank you so much, for giving me the opportunity to think about her, for me to live again. Your writing is excellent, and you should continue to explore the limitless boundaries of literature and poetry.


    1. oh god, firstly, thank you so awfully much for sharing this with me. i’m so touched that i was able to (hopefully) remind you of your love and i hope, no matter how bittersweet, brought back happy memories. your love sounds beautiful and she does too, and i am so happy for you that you had (have) the opportunity of loving her.

      i hope this didn’t make you too sad, or remind you of pain. please remember that no matter how unfair it might seem, please be hopeful for the present and the future. maybe i should write more hopeful things in future? (:

      please do come to me if you ever need to talk, or just to find peace somewhere. i know i might not be the best person to talk to (i’m 15!) but i’ll always be here, even though i don’t know you, even though i don’t know anything of what you’ve/you’re going through, even though i might not fully understand, i’m always here to do whatever i can. be it just my plain words, tell me anything you think i might be able to help in, and i’ll try my best.

      you seem like a genuinely nice and very sweet person, and i think it’s very beautiful of you to have left a comment. this really means so much to me, knowing i helped someone in a way. this has really made my night, and if you’re in singapore have a good night, if you’re not, well enjoy the rest of your day.

      thank you so much, stranger. x


      1. At such a young age of 15, you must have went through a lot, with the complexity of your emotions and feelings that can be seen clearly in all your poems. You could already publish a book, maybe using your Singaporean Math Paper Press.

        I don’t know if you realise, but a lot of dancers suffers from the darker side of the ballet world, including her. Depression, self-harm and anorexia nervosa was her dark companions throughout her life till her death, and prevented me from getting closer to her sooner. It is one of the deepest regrets that I would bring to my grave. It would be really nice is you could do a poem on the silent suffering of dancers, and how they work a long time for a short period of fame and success. Each dancer has their own stories that are unique, beautiful and enchanting. Yes, she was a true beauty, not only on the outside. The beauty can barely be crafted with words, but your poems recreates her essence, and the unspoken words that I had buried deep in my heart.

        Your poems, they open a spiritual gateway for people who had suffered to find peace, and they are brilliantly composed so that people of the same experience could find someone that understands them. I truly look forward to reading more of your poems in the future.


        1. thanks so much love! hmm i absolutely love math paper press (it’s my favourite publisher!), but i’m really not good/mature enough to compare to all the amazing writers for math paper press!

          thank you for the suggestion (:. i think i will write about something relating to that, sometime soon, i think. i agree, as a dancer. all those things you mentioned about her do relate to me, especially about her struggles. thank you, again, and i do hope you rid yourself of any guilt, or regrets, please remember that nothing was your fault. x


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