Aug 17

Moving Out

I thought I was good at this.
The whole
"Say goodbye and move on"
ordeal.
I told myself it was routine
and it was exhilarating every time.
I used to hail change as my savior,
because it felt like despite
my stable home
I was still wrapped in a blanket
of turmoil.

I love adventuring.
I love the unfamiliarity.
I crave chaos like it craves me.
There was nothing I loved more
than my muscles twitching with anticipation
just waiting for my next move,
the spontaneity
and the unexpected
that was vast enough to swallow me whole.
I loved that.

Or so I thought.

I was raised in this world
to move like a sprint,
to pounce as if it was my vice.
I was fine with that,
I accepted that and believed it.

Why am I hesitating?
Why are there clothes scattered on my floor,
littered like the bodies of old versions of myself?
Aug 14

Regret Weighs Heavy in a Pocket

Midas’s greedy eyes
wished for gold.
They settles on a blank canvas
and wished for glittering gold.
He wished so badly
to drip with finery,
drenched to the hollow bone.

When he finally got it,
his touch spread the riches
as if it were a disease,
some beautifully cruel virus.
Enthralled,
he overlooked his losses,
discarded the original value
to revel in his newfound fortune.

In the end,
he sat alone
atop his gold throne,
cursed to be a solitaire king.
He drowned in his greed
and he suffered.

I think I made a wrong wish
too many times,
for my name has fallen from your lips
and I sit alone in bed
waiting to reach out
and touch
one last time.
 
Aug 08

A Celestial Body of My Own

I.
He told me to stop being an atheist.
He acted as if my tortured soul
couldn't be salvaged
unless I repented
and believed wholly in something larger.
He looked at me with sad eyes
and begged me to believe
with my broken hands in his.
I remember turning away.

II.
It's not that I was worthless,
I just found it hard to bring myself
to give credit to something else out there.
My successes were mine to claim,
to flaunt and love.
My failures were mine to accept,
to acknowledge and internalize.
I refused to credit something else
with my own growth and progress.

III.
I broke open my ribs,
split them clean in half at the sternum
and scooped out every last piece of me
with open hands.
He only realized what I truly meant
when I showed him my bare beating heart.
I remember him turning away.

IV.
I didn't know how to love myself,
Aug 05

Pieces of Home

This summer I’ve dedicated a great deal of my time to learning Mandarin and relearning my Spanish.  In the process I have met a great deal of people internationally who are wonderful.  A common request is to see photos of where I’m from, because they’re all interested in what life in America is life, so I have been taking a lot more photos (despite my lack of photography skills) to show them.  This summer has been particularly special to me because I will be attending college in Massachusetts starting this fall, and although I’ll be returning it’s been a little more bittersweet and sentimental.  I was going to write an accompanying poem to make up for my photographs, but I think these are better left alone.
 
Jul 30

Because Friendships Can Transcend Language

Hablo español.
Un poco.
No tomo una clase de español,
ahora.
Yo olvido muchas palabras.
Lo siento.

I speak English.
a little.
I finished an English class,
recently.
I don’t know many words.
I’m sorry.


I hope this works.

Qué?
No comprendo.
En inglés.
Mas despacio,
por favor.
Lo siento.

What?
I don’t understand.
In spanish.

Slower,
please.
I’m sorry.


This isn’t working.

Estás ocupado?
Quieres hablar?
Cómo estás, yo quiero ser.
Ah, comprendo, comprendo.
Cómo se dice “No worries”
en español?

Are you busy?
Do you want to talk?
How are you, I want to know.
Ah, I understand, I understand.
How do you say “No te preocupes”
in english?


Thank you for being patient.
Jul 30

Anything But a Homebody

I.
Transition comes to me.
It seeks me out
and urges me forward.
Buildings blur and warp
as I wander
from street to street.
My feet wear down soles
without hesitation.

II.
It started with a gate.
From a mother’s arms
to the gates of an orphanage
to a standard issue bed
to a foster home.
I am exchanged from embrace to embrace
and loaded onto a plane.

III.
I lingered,
feet planted in loose soil
and reached for the sun
with open palms
and slender fingers.
It was bright and warm,
perfect and comfortable.

IV.
I changed schools.
Willingly of course.
Change had latched on like a leech,
buried in my bones.
I couldn’t stay still even if I wanted to.

V.
I am tearing my hair out,
it comes in clumps
and washes down the drain.
I want to leave,
to stretch out
and feel new air.
Jul 11

A Winter’s Love

I.
Winter is the loneliest time.
Hugs from ragged blankets,
bony hands tucking in bony figures
and pressing chapped lips
to shaky fingers
to press against my own forehead,
sitting in the room
from evening to dawn,
and thinking of something more.
I stared at the street lamp,
its light casting sickly yellow
on pristine snowflakes,
glittering and dancing
before landing softly amongst its own.

II.
We brushed past each other,
gentle phantoms.
Our shoulders met
and we murmured dead apologies,
half hearted and tired.
Your eyes flickered,
and there was a tinge of joy
across your face.
Under the yellow,
you seemed to glow.
I didn’t mind your gaunt cheekbones
and your mop of curls.

III.
There are arms looped around my waist,
thumbs tracing shapes
on pronounced ribs.
Your stubble pokes into the side of my neck.
Jun 30

Goddesses of the New World

Aphrodite retires to her bed,
old oak and beaten pillows.
Down litters the floor and candles burn,
dust spluttering and popping in love flames.
She tips back the brown bottle
and stares into the mirror,
grease and grime smeared across her reflection.
She utters soft prayers,
begging for herself 
to find the beauty and love most beautiful
beneath her skin and in her own heart.
She runs a clammy hand across her cheek and turns away.

She reflects.

Artemis washes the rusty red wounds
down an old and stained sink.
Green convenience store bathroom lighting,
her nose crooked
and left eye swollen
she laughs at herself.
She tucks black curls behind a dark ear,
beads of water glittering
as she cusses under her breath
for having to throw another punch again
in the name of a drunk stranger
grabbed by the wrist and drugged.

She fights.
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,