“searching for clues” by Divya Chhotani

As part of the January I Issue, we are featuring a piece by Divya Chhotani.

Artist’s note: “unrequited love is something that many people face behind closed doors. the feeling of walking next to someone you love and the giddy feeling you get when you’re around them and surrounded by their contagious energy yet the dread you feel when you see them talking to someone else. these feelings that rush through your body whenever you see someone that you like but once you’re behind closed doors you let it all out on your pillowcase and your tears show your true feelings that your words can’t even begin to describe. this poem is for those who may be in love with someone who doesn’t know they exist or you may be hiding your feelings from them. i’ve been in this same position countless times but what helped get me through this was journaling my feelings away or even just “shooting my shot” as they say these days. you’re so valid and your feelings matter. if you feel comfortable telling them your feelings i hope they are receptive but if you’re scared and apprehensive hopefully this poem can relate to you and be your “inner anthem” during this time. remember someone out there in this world will love you even the parts you’re afraid of and will embrace your flaws. you are so loved and i know that things will look brighter soon.”

searching for clues

i’m struggling to spit out the words you’ve been dying to hear

the words that lovers gobble up and misconstrue and break 

i’m struggling to say three words to you because i know how it feels to be broken in two

to have lost my sense of purpose and direction 

my pillowcase knowing my story better than anyone ever will 

the three words you’re dying to hear is something that makes me cry 

gives me butterflies yet i’m scared 

our relationships evolve like caterpillars to butterflies

the honeymoon phase is the cocoon stage 

where everything is flowing is solid motion 

my love for you not wavering 

no earthquake in my throat yet

i’m afraid that once our relationship gets to that butterfly stage you’ll feel like all of me is already laid out on the table

you’d get bored of me and toss me to the side

that the words i love you will lose its meaning 

that maybe i’m not good enough for you 

i’m trying to convince myself that it wouldn’t happen

that you are in love with another with someone that jumps from person to person 

i’m trying to convince myself that you aren’t for me because someone like you can’t be with someone like me 

i’m broken trying to figure out who we could be 

you’re like a safety net that catches me in my darkest times when i fall down

hearing my bickering and dealing with my nagging 

you’re the most beautiful butterfly out there


soaring like a bird 

intricate lil beauty 

i’m trying to convince myself that i’m the one for you 

that you don’t need anyone else

i’m trying to be the best for you 

to see that smile at the end of the day 

to have you laughing on the daily 

i hope you don’t get bored of me 

i hope you don’t get bored of me 

i just want you to grow with me 

explore with me 

be like curious george and explore the knicks and crannies of everywhere we go 

i don’t want to lose myself in your love 

i want to fly like the butterfly you are

spread your wings and fly into my arms 

i hope you can hold me when i cry at the end of a long day

bring me coffee when i’m struggling to stay awake 

but i’m lost tumbling in trying to find ways to make you stay 

but then i realize it’s all in my head 

the overthinking and the jumping to conclusions thinking that you could be mine

but i’m struggling to find the words to tell you that i can’t do this anymore 

that i can’t love someone who won’t love me back 

i can’t love someone who can’t see the stars that shine in my eyes for them 

who realizes all my smiles are just for them when there is silence all around 

i can’t love someone who can’t get me the moon who can hold me when i cry and lonely 

but i can’t love someone who doesn’t realize that i love them through the signals and through the smoke

i’m waving my white flag and surrendering

i hope you’re the person that actually stays and sees me for me

i hope in another lifetime we can be meant to be 

i hope i can see you and i hope i can be yours 

but now i’m just re reading old texts thinking of what we could be

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

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We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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