‘Stays’ is the shortest auto-biographical poem I managed to write. It most genuinely encapsulates what my poetry is (to me) – humanly capturing human experience. As someone from scientific background that was brought up to be a high-achieving perfectionist, my poetry has been a way to honour messiness, invite softness, give space for the dark-deep. This is exactly what ‘Stays’ explores – my transitions and trauma in life as a young woman, a survivor, an immigrant. The poem invites to acknowledge self-acceptance and what it has meant to change – to keep blood in my veins and welcome being. I enjoy playing with my language to express these ideas using multiple personal pronouns, internal rhythm. ‘Stays’ is a good example of how I lean towards mysticisms and romantic language but then always try to keep sarcasm and humour close. The key to a lot of my writing is to balance the realness of disturbing issues I discuss and the form I choose to explore. Because of my topics I don’t throw raw piece of life at my reader – I don’t want them to burn. So, I try to carve a path that would let in play, warmth and complexity.