Jun 24

Tough Pill to Swallow

I.
I remember swallowing a lump in my throat
you fiddling with your hands in the chair next to me.
We were nervous energy, unrefined
and just waiting to crash and burn.
Caffeine capillaries
and bloodshot eyes,
we knew our late night and early morning
with fingertips tapping at keyboards numbly.
That lump melted away as the sun shone down
from behind us, warm and inviting.
I knew it was fine.

II.
I remember clearing my throat in your car.
I swallowed hard to forget.
You laughed,
spindly fingers turning the knob on the car radio
to full blast
as you whipped down the straight away,
windows down,
and me yelling.
You screamed along,
lyrics visceral and raw.
I could feel your form
breathe in the sunbeams
and you lit up
with the light and fire
of a thousand stars in broad daylight.

III.
I loved you.

IV.
Jun 13

My Hometown

There's many things I will miss.
Maybe not as a whole,
no,
definitely not as a whole,
but the individuals
and the glimpses.

I'll miss her soft golden giggles
with a sunshiney smile
and the sweetest words
with glowing eyes.
I'll miss his passion and drive,
a love burning in his chest
that he just wants his students to share.
I'll miss her tough love,
the forceful presense
that comes in whispers,
and acts like a mother,
protective and loving
but capable of making the best fudgey brownies.
I'll miss his talks,
seeing the orange motorcycle,
and how he never fails to check in with students,
sprinkling confetti and glitter in handwritten birthday notes.

I'll miss my friends' laughter,
the bright smiles
and the glow of youth,
how we'd sit in the grass at lunch
and listen to music,
complaining about school food
Jun 08

temporal

I.

i believe that writing is permanent.
that the way the words string together
were meant to preserve for anyone
to return and to reflect as they please.
i wrote to cherish.
to mourn.
to love.
to remember.
to display.
to sympathize.


II.

i wrote so much that the memories
clustered together,
that they balled up and compounded,
where they became a conglomeration
of everything beautiful
and everything i despised.

staring it in the eye
was facing my past,
my mistakes,
and i wore them
as if they were badges and labels,
meant to point myself out to the world
as the scared child,
the crazed animal,
a gentle lover,
and the outraged survivor.
i had to live within confines
and remember myself
as how i defined myself.

III.

i believed writing was sanct,
that it was a holy shrine
Jun 05
poem 0 comments challenge: Sure

My Town

One thing I know for sure
is this town isn't my own.
We call her a city,
but she's a small town,
quaint and quiet.
Her sunsets,
thunderstorms,
lightning streaks,
and fresh paved roads
are not mine.

I can walk along them as much as I please,
admire the new sidewalks,
and wonder when the town will feel shiny and new,
lift her chin to the sun
and let out a sigh of relief
as change washes over her scarred skin.

I don't belong here,
cramped and coddled,
it's as if I outgrew her walls,
her emptiness,
her emptying storefronts,
her chopped down trees,
I can't accept them.

It feels as if she has grown old,
or as if she is dying,
and that's not the town I know,
it's not the town I grew up in.
The main street isn't as lively,
her windows are gray with dust,
her fountain is dry,
it's as if a black hole opened up
Jun 04

bystander

she trembles
as every sob wracks her body,
violently shaking her.
i can hear the death rattling around in her ribs,
the soft whisper of veins collapsing
and the stillness of somber.

i can feel the loss,
cold against my fingertips,
as i interlock mine with hers.
she's shivering,
cold and drenched
from having stood under stormy clouds
and tears for too long.

she's cried rivers,
and i can feel the valleys and twists
in her worn skin,
the stories she could tell
from having been carved with tears
from cold marble,
solid and unnerved.

there is tragedy in her soul,
frustration in her heart,
and contempt in her bones.
it can only fuel
a biological machine
for so long
before the gears rust
and everything cracks.

there is nothing i can do to stop her.
May 31

Superlative

My band teacher gives every senior
a superlative.
It was the only award
I received that night.
I gave up the music festivals,
and I don't dedicate myself to the flute
as others do to their instruments.

We lined up on the stage,
waiting,
sprawled across the black floor,
shoulder to shoulder.
We were a wall
of tired students,
waiting for graduation.

Superlative after superlative,
it kept going on.
I was one of the last few.
He said I had potential,
that there was something about me.

He gave me the superlative
"Most likely to be voted as our first female president".
I appreciate the notion,
the idea,
the belief he has in me,
but there was a pit in my stomach
that tore me open
and swallowed me.

The constitution requires a president
to be born on U.S. soil.
A foreign born citizen cannot have that seat,

May 29

Disappear

A part of me wants to pick up
and disappear without a trace,
to leave in a cloud of smoke
and go wherever I please.
I want to be an idea,
or maybe a memory,
and haunt people's minds
as a face they knew,
but don't know anymore.

There are foreign lands calling for me,
beckoning,
begging me to set foot on their soil
and to claim it as my home,
to make it a part of me.
I'll scoop up the grains of sand,
and keep them in my pockets,
and with every land I carry
I'll leave a trace of myself,
and carry on.

Ocean waves are clamoring to conquer one another,
and I want to be thrown in that mix,
to be tossed side to side,
and carried out to sea.
Not a tragic lost seafarer lured by sirens,
but just a drifting soul,
washing ashore in seafoam
as if Aphrodite herself
whispered to me
and told me to carry forth.

I want to have many homes,
May 23

chun-li

Nicki Minaj recently did a performance of her hit song Chun-Li on SNL.  Chun-Li is a Chinese character from a Japanese game.  In Minaj's performance she wore a "kimono" and placed chopsticks in her hair.  Many justified her actions because she is part Asian.  Minaj's father is half Indian and her great-grandfather is Japanese.  The kimono is traditional Japanese piece and the chopsticks could be drawn as similar to Japanese kanzashi, which made me question why people justified her actions with her being a quarter Indian when she wore Japanese clothing for a Chinese character.

no one actually wears chopsticks in their buns,
it's japanese kanzashi,
and no it doesn't belong to my culture.
china does not equate to japan
does not equate to india
does not equate to korea
does not equate to thailand
does not equate to taiwan
does not equate to asia.

asia in it's entirety is not one conglomerate,
vast and wide,
May 21

Oh, America


Oh, beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife
Land of the free and home of the brave,
you beautiful model,
poised perfectly on the mainstage,
crooning sweet melodies of peace,
love,
victory,
and freedom.

Who more than self their country loved
You foreign authority,
swooping in gracefully
to defend democracy on foreign soil,
soiled with war and gunpowder,
ferrous and wet as it clumps together
with sweat and tears.
You carry the children from the rubble,
gray with soot and ash,
and crumbled homes,
gray with death.
You bring them to life.

and mercy more than life!
How you love the taste of red iron,
clotting in hungry mouths
and black barreled guns.
The feeling of red blood smearing
across your palms like
lava creeping across your streets.
You know there is something wrong
May 11

Plight of a Speaker, Writer, Typer

There are three routes
from my brain to get words from myself to someone else.
I can use my voice,
write my thoughts by hand,
or type with the tapping of fingers.

Recalling every last word from my brain
from over the past sixteen,
nearly seventeen,
years has grown to be a nuisance.
There are words buzzing about like worker bees,
droning and drifting as if waiting for the next command,
waiting for the queen bee's beck and call.
They bump into one another,
muttering hushed apologies before they hurry along.
From there, the lucky few tear down through my being
and grab me by the throat.
At times, they jostle me awake
and I cannot help but whisper them to myself,
a feeble attempt to catalog and to remember.
More often than not, they die on my tongue,
dammed up by vocal cords
and faltering folds because I lack the coordination
May 08

A Love Poem for the Lost and the Forgotten

I could spend eternities rambling
about my love for you,
how I want you to experience happiness
and keep that moment beside you every moment of the day.
How you deserve the best
and then more,
because there is something beautiful and comforting
deep in your screeching soul.

While there are others who I care for and who I love,
I think it is you who needs it the most right now,
because you have forgotten your astral roots,
the stardust flowing in your veins
and sprinkled throughout your irises,
how you are godly
and deserve worlds.

I want you to be so in love with yourself
that nothing could hurt you ever again,
because I'd rather you arrogant like the god I think you are
than sitting in a cage yearning for something more
because that glittering world is out there
but you are too afraid to experience it.

I have been there from the start
May 08

A Place I Call Home But Only Half-Heartedly

"Do you think you'll ever come back?"
I wish I could say yes,
but it catches on my tongue
and trips from my lips,
clumsy and ugly.
It isn't convincing in the slightest,
especially because I choke on the weight of it.

I stutter and stop,
eyes settling on the ground in shame.
I don't know how to explain
that as much as I'd loved the pothole riddled roads,
and the blazing orange autumns,
I didn't feel as if it was ever my home.

It was an uncomfortable second skin,
a scratchy wool sweater that I outgrew too fast,
but wore anyways because of the sentimental value.
I never felt like I blended in,
like I was a snaggly strand of hair that never made it into the ponytail
or the single tooth jutting out from my dog's mouth,
I was pointed and deliberate,
but not meant to be here.

"Do you?"
You said yes
May 03

To All of the Cities I Have Loved and Abandoned

There are unfamiliar faces
and blinding street lights,
passing by in blurs and flashes,
popping popcorn fireworks,
but they're bulbs
and they're brilliant.

It's all eyecatching
with the way the blues and reds
catch on protruding cheekbones
and pursed lips.
Sleek black hair bounces back
smatterings of Jackson Pollock style colors,
and it's lively.

There's an electric buzz in the veins,
lively jitters like peppermint soap
or lemon cleaner wiping down tabletops.
It's fastpaced and upbeat,
nonstop rush from one extraordinary place to the next.

There's music,
blaring from a million different places at once,
the beat of the bass bouncing off highrise buildings,
across black asphalt,
and off of shiny glass windows,
straight into my bones.
Singers crooning about lost loves
or far off places,
but what about the lost love for far off places,
May 03

I Knew You Once

I knew you once,
like I know lines from a play
or bars of melodies.
Like thick blankets of snow,
glowing dim under yellow streetlights.
I was familiar with you,
I knew dips and divets,
the feeling of your cradling you
while you sobbed
and your knotted hair in my fingertips.

I knew you
in ways I didn't know myself.
I knew you better than myself
because I couldn't bring myself
to love myself
just like you couldn't for yourself.

There were so many late nights
of talking and wondering,
pacing in the confines of our own thoughts
as we debated whether or not
things would end up okay.
We desperately wanted the best for each other
even if it meant the warmth we craved
came from burning ourselves on smoking candlewicks
and extinguished stars.

There came a time when I couldn't
keep sacrificing myself
because my body screamed no
Apr 11

One of the Girls

"With the way she talks she must love attention."
I don't love the attention.
I talk just as much as him
and the next guy
and the guy before him.
God forbid my words roar and rumble
the way others did
and I don't mold myself like clay
to bend over backwards
and break my fragile, hollowed bones
to serve you.

My loud mouth draws in the world around it,
devours the air,
and feeds my vocal cords with oxygen,
fans the flames,
feeds them,
as they burn and spew red hot embers.
Dragons don't exist?
To hell with it,
we're here
and spitting flames,
licking at your toes
and burning the soles of your sore feet
as we scream.

We're shouting because you refuse to listen,
and we'll shout until it hurts,
until we see red,
and we'll keep goin.
We'll keep fighting
and demanding,
because we deserve space just as much as you.