Sundown Magnolias

Sunlit skies in,
gray clouds out.
 
Feb 25

mo(u)rning peaches

Night spills the ink of a day
ground to our bones

rooted in place under our eyelids.

the smell of ink addictive,
and laughing gusts, the best type of cancer?

Love braids peach blossoms into figments of want,
and into mother of pearl arm rests on chairs as old as me.

She weaves sunbeams and morning dew and makes 
sugared zodiac animals that dance in her blood.

Gives them flower language,
but all they see is a tree--

spindly tree branches cynical, leafless
for another 三千年, 你知道嗎?

三生,三世,十里桃花
One with our names etched, the trunk where we spilled wine

and then flung our arms around the goddess' legs
as the children, the wailing, do.

I cut myself on the swiss army knife the other day,
and I have finally learned how to mourn with her.

If I squint hard enough in the evening, 
Feb 14

Little love

Her mouth is on my cheek

and I smile hello at her cherubic face, roaming eyes
completely unaware of what kisses mean

but she does it anyway, 
maybe because it reduces me to a grinning fool.

He hugs my legs, and says “hi” without looking up,
A world of giants and toy trucks and eyes that light up
with childish glee and chocolate.

Perhaps I am not so old after all, 
in my sweatshirt sixteen years.

Honesty, honestly, I marvel at how emotions
flicker on their faces without hesitation or second thought.

Goodbyes are more or less the same, but bittersweet;
I can’t tell if I feel older or younger, now.

An endless repeat-after-me of bye and I love you’s
Well trained to be cute and loving, I’ve always thought

But as her face lights up when we laugh, and he screams
I LOVE YOU’s by the door, into the chill night
Feb 06

hallowed halos, hollow be thy name

I don’t know if I believe in angels anymore.

I poured Cupid into paper wings and when the origami butterfly didn’t fly, I gathered rainwater from my eyes and tucked heaven’s silence into my ribs. But ire metastasizes, and my blood now cries pearls for the fallen angel, risen cynic, an odd metalloid of child and higher being. 

I metamorphose subconsciously, and the half of me that is my mother’s hair and cheekbones tuck away my soft parts in fear that I will metabolize them and self-destruct, utterly alone. She needn’t have worried. Fly away hairs are cherubs that hold their bowed promises to baby skin, powdered sugar that tastes like superfluous nothing. 

So I will still have my brownie, if only in teenage defiance.
Jan 26

Tiers

A collaboration with Yellow Sweater and my brother :)
~~~

“LET THEM EAT CAKE!” 

curse the sweet toothed aristocrats
with the ebb and flow of revolutions,

butterflies on one final sugar high. 

.

but surfers don’t watch waves, they breathe them.

I wonder if frequency is measured in Hertz because 
of the gongs that are smashed when the
universe collapses to the decimal point 

we connect the dots, 
undulating by a trigonometric pendulum:
steel, and steam, and stars.  

in a sterile classroom brimming with
corpses, kids who are dead before they’ve known
how to live.

we dance in painful convection currents--
Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-seven

oh Abel,
the blood of martyrs is sickly sweet. 
like roses, and rosaries, and roadside memorials. 

I wonder how the heat burns out,
Jan 01

Happy new year! :)

Lately, it feels like time has left me behind. A finals week apparently doesn't feel like finals without the exchange of small gifts and warm words between stressed teenagers, and Christmas doesn't feel Christmas-y without the being a tad more than fashionably late to an obligatory family get together at Mà's house where we smile and get presents that will be returned the next week. 

This winter break, like the majority of the year, has been different. Not necessarily good different or bad different but like many things, a healthy mixture of both. I can't hate 2020, and I won't hate 2020. Because, though bitter, quarantine gave me YWP. It gave me a better sense of self, and it gave me many realizations that, though many led to more journeys than actual ends, was more satisfying than anything I had found before.

Dec 15

To the Page

I think I forgot how to speak.

I owe a call to the best friend in my phone,
and an ode to the summer walked on a bone.

An "I'm sorry!" to that boy I somewhat liked,
And a 加油!to that brother who's completely wiped.

The page called my name yesterday,
or was it a week ago? I dunno, Someday.

Standing next to inspiration's dusty tomb
from across the neighborhood of my room

a right on Dirty Laundry and another 
on the Unclosed Shutters

oh dear, I forgot how wonderful Window is!
My word, haven't looked through her in ages!

How many similes, metaphors, and lives now
do I owe to her honor, anyhow?

And Sweater, old friend!
Did I truly fling you to this bend?

Ah well, another poem for you 
And you, and you, and why not you too?

Just round the bed,
words scrambling in my head

And by the time I cross the aisle,
Dec 02

Leatherbacked

Leatherback tales, spin me a turtle
of stars tattooed on skin
moon washing sand
and people
who live without breath
keep
the tiny grain, boundless pages
keep
curator, the leatherbacked
Oct 26

Aria on a Monday Night

The last page, cloying sugar of
maple syrup and ripened persimmons,

singing arias through the air in my
dimly lit corner of the universe

feet on an unmade bed and a splayed smile
as the languid mezzo is drawn across bowed lips

Reflected, refracted
in prisms of darkened chromebook screens,
long forgotten

a meager desk lamp lights the rosin dust afire
on rich oak floorboards, grounded by the bass

Hours meandered through
marked only by the worried flick of pages
punctuating still air

pulse panging unintelligibly in 
reverberating ribs, irony strung in fragility

haphazard notes adorn staves
of neat stoic ink

the rise and folly of lives, 
a melody, a reminicing theme
crescendos to a perfect pitch
you didn't know you needed

an exhale,

a thud, 

revealing the lazy scrawl of
Oct 17

Cardboard cookies

Ther's a cardboard cookie on the table 
that tastes like Middle School
it is warm in my stomach as
cold crumbs line clammy calluses
But it still yields to my teeth as I bite
too much stale worries and never enough chocolate
It is the little photobook that is bitter
on my tongue, but tastes of decadent
strands of summer caught on ivy
webs, we call cafeteria tables
A past & a prophesy
of lost melodies folded in lonely books
for the next sixth grader 
who sucked on apple lollipops of drama
mouth puckeringly addictive
and of boys that whispered carelessly in halls
for all to hear of the insurmountable feat of
tricking overpriced vending machines for bags of 

                            air

because part of us knew High School, the Beyond
would be hard of oxygen
So, there's a cardboard cookie on the table
Sep 13

Creative Writing Workshops :)

Hi everyone,
    For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project (which I think I might've mentioned in an SDJ way back when), I'm conducting a series of creative writing workshops with my local library. I've actually just hosted the first one (journaling) this past Saturday, and I thought I might invite you all as well. It's not quite the same as the fantastic ones Alex holds (because I'm pretty new to this whole presenting thing + they're for specific genres), but I think they're pretty fun. I've found for myself that even if I'm already are very comfortable with the genre, it's also a great way to set aside a period of time to writing.

(Ideally) these workshops will:
- briefly explain each genre of writing,
- provide a safe environment to share,
- give feedback & encouragement,
- & let you express yourself!
Sep 12
poem 3 comments challenge: CJP-Fire

Moths aflame

"California is on fire."
We are moths aflame.

Gold coins spill from our tongues
soaking all the sunshine until skies are gray.

A politician's dead eyes watch
orange skies in San Francisco, unfeeling.

The fires stole the mountains, the smoke the horizon
but you, fish eyes, you stole the security of my home.

We are Esaus, who will go down as fools
for selling a birthright for diamonds and doubloons,

villains the moment we renounced nature
to become Midas instead.

My home is a prison that reeks of smoke,
the AC on while we freeze underwater.

How long will we wait, will you wait,
until the ash taints your golden tongue?

I beg you, I warn you
that California is just the tip of a matchstick.

Yes, suffering brings a nation together
but if you cared, don't let us die so ...

there are babies just being born ...
Aug 29
poem 0 comments challenge: Reflect

Wet Sand

Wet sand cakes my legs, a briny armor
earned from drowning in a sea

hopeful gold rimmed violets destroyed, weeks of stifled blues
meaningless plans shredded, tearstained shards drift to my feet

chained to the sheets, the gasps as I wail
but COVID is deaf to effervescent pleas

sleeping away the sun, why live this nightmare
when I can be a bold pixels pulsing on a screen?

the days blur weeks blur days, time as I know it dies
broken hourglass, steals my breath numb while flesh bleeds

and it's bled and scabbed and scarred
now knocked down by the upstart of the feed

watercolor drama etched in notebooks are paper mache
a poor replacement for scorching cement drenched in iced tea

bitter isolation, a decadent chocolate gorged upon
a glass of blank hall lining faces, please, I'm on my knees

the littered books all read, a closed library locks glass doors,
Aug 16
poem 0 comments challenge: Liar

refracting blame to the stars

Liar, liar

pants lipstick black
screaming sirens afire

No choice, no way
betrayed your conscience 
one too many times
caught red handed, 
but you open your fist
lined palms conceal the fact,
that guilt has long departed

they were filled with empty jewels
promises you failed to keep
refracting the guilt on fate,
you blame the stars
you love your son

so you stab the family photo
of strangers, fighting for
survival, just like you
drown my mother to keep
his alive

no? am i wrong to blame
you
instead of balls of fire
somewhere beyond the sky?

here you stand free, 
in blue jeans burning
diamond daggers against my throat
clenched hands, 
the one that pushed us to the edge

don't tell me why
don't lie

I know it was you.