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  • Sasha Anand

"Poetry is everything to me" : Selected Works by Arushi (aera) Rege

Foreward by Sasha Anand | By Arushi (aera) Rege

As we come into the month of May, most students face some familiar feeling. The sound of the trees, the incoming feeling of a summer yet again, and of course: finals week.

This month at The Youth Press, we are all too well aware of the feelings that finals week brings, but for some besides a heightened sense of stress, maybe depressive thoughts, or something worse.

This is one of the primary reasons our team has decided on the theme of "healthy habits" for this months theme. As students, we understand more than anyone what teenagers go through by the end of the school year and encourage every teen to take a moment for themselves, even if it seems impossible. Often that moment, for some, can mean the difference between life and death. Remember that the life is made up of more than one moment and that there is always someone who cares about you and believes in your future, even if you dont yourself.

This month, we will hear from a student who worked through their own struggles, with a unique healthy habit: poetry.

If you are facing suicidal thoughts, need someone to talk to, or are in distress call or text 988


On what inspires them to write:

I mostly write in order to best work my way through my emotions. I started writing because I had a lot of emotions to work through, coming out of a bad period of mental health.

In essence, I wrote because if I didn't, I would've died.

I use poetry as a method of ensuring that I can discuss my emotions and harder aspects of my life, while also ensuring that I continue to do something I really love. Poetry is everything to me. It's a way of communicating with others, a method of expending my emotions in a healthy manner, and a way to continue to produce work with a lot of creativity. 


twin exit wounds & a love song

the myth starts with a hello baby; the myth starts with my hand on yours & my lifeline placed on

kissed-raw lips & whiskey-flavored mouths; the myth starts with prometheus & fire & a

penchant to burn. you have a need to set things on fire & i’m the matchstick willing to be lit

aflame; the myth starts with strobe lights & meteor showers we pretended were falling down to

scorch; we deserve this, you know, the ring of fire we pretend we can’t feel under stars that

scream for recognition; the myth starts like this, we pretend to dance underneath the candlelight.

waltz. salsa. the details don’t matter; the myth starts like this, i think if i met the goddess of

beauty, she’d take your face & your voice & your body & she’d be you; the myth starts with a

halo of galaxies untold & a fire under our asses & my rage (love) sold out a concert hall & i

screamed until my throat was raw & my fingers cut into the filets only a violinist could achieve.

(the truth is my rage barely fills my body, an exit wound with no point of entry.); the myth starts

with agni & a story about love & a cheesy line about the tunnel of love & how you’d never let

me go if you had the option; each morning an elegy & each afternoon a funeral & each night a

burning pyre (burning love burning body burning hearts); the myth goes like this – i tell you i

remember what it feels like to be lit aflame, paper-mache skin & nyx’s red lipstick (shade

copenhagen) & the raw red of my skin on yours – we pretend this is what nights upon nights

look like (not a burning pyre. never the burning pyre; a nightmare long forgotten, a bullet hole

with no casing). we pretend this means you never leave. we pretend this means i need you to stay

(we pretend that i’m burning. this means i need you to stay. this means i pretend i’m not lying.

this means the ring of fire has our name on it & the halo’s a scorching earth or a broken promise

or a moth towards lightning or a self-portrait in only one color). the myth ends with a hello baby;

the myth ends with the ending we deserve, an unfinished poem & a story that refuses to burn & a

man that controls fate (leaving. staying. what does it matter anymore); the myth ends with this: i

step on your toes when we dance the waltz (there’s something poetic about this, how the air

burns with the desire of it all, how we’re locked together with a halo & a ring of fire); the myth

ends like this: we just want to love, baby. we just want to be two exit wounds with no point of

entry. we just want to take up space. we just want to burn.


dust storm season

when it says pull over it really means / don’t get caught in / endless sea of brown / emergency

warning blares / you pull over / sit down / get comfortable / siren song won’t leave for an hour /

our deserted city awaits / what i mean is its / one hundred and twelve degrees / and we’re

doomed anyways / no point in getting out / what i mean is we can / sit here and chat / dust storm

warning means / its arizona / so it's summer, so its dry pools and suburbia / cancel the touch tank,

darling / the storm hasn’t rolled over yet / what i mean is my skin is the same color / as the storm

/ what i mean is i’m sitting / in your car / hoping for death to roll over / play dead itself / what i

mean is its / dust storm season / so the cacti are withered / so its a dry heat / so the dust storm

warning continues / pull over, darling / we can’t win if we’re all dead / the storm isn’t going

anywhere / just recline the seats / we can stay here a while / so it’s summer, babe / so it’s

suburbia / so it’s suicide / so it’s empty pools / cracked lips, bloody with disuse / sweat soaking

my bra / the machinery has rusted! / rejoice again! / god’s still roaming this earth / what i mean is

/ maybe we aren’t doomed this time / maybe we haven’t lost against all odds / maybe the house

doesn’t have to win again / what i mean is that / i need you to stop thinking i’m the storm / what i

mean is / i promise i’m not / fundamentally unlovable / please, darling / you’re here with me,

aren’t you? / what i mean is i need you / to pretend that we aren’t dying / or already dead / or

something in between / what i mean is i need you / to look at me like you love me / what i mean

is i need you / to pretend the skies aren’t red / to pretend this isn’t how the world ends / what i

mean is / my skin is the same color / as the storm / so its dust storm season / so its suicide / so its

suburbia / so i’m sorry / what i mean is / the radio static continues in the background / what i

mean is my skin is the same color / as the storm / i need you / to stop thinking of me / as if i’m

the storm / i need you to learn who i am / i need you to turn off the siren / i need you to say my

name right


lifecycle & love

i know i promised you that i’d

love you forever but baby i think i’m

stuck on the notion of how i’m going

to remember you longer than i’ve

loved you. it goes like this, you

call me again, on the phone & i promise

that i haven’t been taking tylenol

again. i’m thinking of kissing

the boy on the phone i’m thinking

about being a boy i’m thinking that

maybe growth & change are just

words that mean “i don’t have you

anymore & i don’t think i’ll ever

know how to live my life without


so maybe i’m the villain here, baby,

i know what this looks like. under

fluorescent streetlights & bright

red skies, i know you’re staring at

the girlboy i’m becoming & thinking about

how i couldn’t grow (change) enough for

this to be enough. i’m a broken record &

you’re a broken heart about promises

that i’m going to change & you’re

going to be here forever. i know we’re

desperately holding on, in as many

languages as we can. sonya, tujhavara

prem aahe maala. i know too many

languages, baby, and i don’t know how

to love you in enough of them.

so just. entertain the idea that

growth & change are lies we

tell ourselves to become better

people because i said i’d end my

life cycle with you

birth death birth death birth death

(somewhere in between it’s about how i’d never leave you.

somewhere in between it becomes romance)

& tell me. am i going to be a chrysalis forever?

am i going to be your pretty little

butterfly? representative of all that you

wanted but couldn’t have? are you going

to keep me to be this little

lifecycle replica of what love is

(birth. death. repeat.)

(verse. chorus. repeat.)

i’m sorry baby, we know how the world works.

we know how life works. we know what it

means to change & i know i’d grow & change

if it meant you’d stay & if it meant you’d

be mine or baby.

(birth. death. repeat.)


ode to frank ocean’s cayendo

aqui, acaso voy cayendo

sing to me softly, my simple angel

make me pretend the world’s not ending

or dying or dead already because i

can’t think with all this fuss i

can’t be with all this noise

aqui, acaso voy cayendo because

at least as the world’s ending

frank ocean is still singing and

the world is ending and

nothing is okay but at least

frank ocean is still singing.

turn the radio off, love, we

don’t need to hear about the crisis, we

already know what’s going on, we

already know how the story ends because

frank ocean is singing so it must be

dead of night or

four-fifteen in the afternoon or

when i miss you terribly or

when i’ve gone and broken my heart again because

you don’t know how to love me in a way i understand but

the world is ending and perhaps

we can wait for a bit because

frank ocean is singing

aqui, acaso voy cayendo

here, in this parking lot with

the fluorescent orange streetlights that burn

the image of you leaving because

you always leave and i’ve never seen you stay,

not for your mother on her deathbed and

not for me when i need you and

not for yourself when the world’s ending and

aqui, acaso voy cayendo

sing for me softly, my simple angel while

you tell me your tales of woe because

darling, the world is ending and

you won’t stay but you won’t leave either

so at least keep me company in

the world’s final moments even

though you’ve never wanted to be here. i

kept you as the moon keeps

the tides as the sun keeps the moon as

we are just celestial bodies because the

human race is just a bunch of tiny stars tiny atoms

except atoms never touch so i’ve

never held you, darling except

fuck it, frank ocean is singing and the

world is ending anyways so

sing to me softly, my simple angel and

tell me your tales of woe,

porque aqui, acaso vamos cayendo



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