Good Boys

July 18th, fooling around with a guy in the insufferably humid summer of 2017, in Jeju Island, South Korea. I was told I didn’t have a grasp on reality that would get me very far in the dating world. But my idealism served me well. A month later I met a good boy. And now he is mine. 

he said good boys don’t exist
spitting his words out like
a forsaken wish, maybe
he is right about everything
that every man is just a member
attached to a body, and a boy
won’t ever think
beyond his greed,
but I have my dreams
my prince charming doesn’t swear
that often in front of me, and he
doesn’t wash his white shoes,
he forgets things
like he forgets to be popular
among the drinkers and smokers
and skirt-chasing Casanovas,
there’s no white horse but
plenty of Taylor Swift,
no shame for our hand-holding
simplistic romance,
late-night calls to discuss
the universe and hamster homes,
and our future music exchanges
earbuds shared on long bus rides
and trips to the sea
late at night,
only to sleep in separate beds
but the same hotel room,
he’s laughing while I write
this middle school
candy sweet nonsensical
ditty of immature proportions,
but maybe boys are good
and get ruined
like I did, and maybe
they want to listen to
pop-punk throwbacks, and go see
matinee movies
with me, too.

Advertisements

Challenge

I was challenging you,
with every word
and every action,
a chess move to make you
a crazy man, insane as can be,
justify the pain inflicted by others
with the same voice,
you just didn’t know it
maybe I was too pretty
or too shy, for you to see my
steely eyed heart
hiding beneath rosy cheeks,
I’d give an apology
but what ears of yours could
accept that? You’d shrug me
off your shoulders, responsibility
you don’t wish to have,
oh,
never did I intend to
stare you down, wrapping all the bodies
of three or six other men
into one solitary form,
the young player dancing
in your dark, haunting eyes,
but I did.

Sandman’s Magic

You are my preference
among the multitude of flashing,
blinking, glittering bodies of light,

your star in the sky
is my peace, so I lay my head
on the cloud of your essence,

just out of reach and
dancing among the cosmos
your voice is like sleep,

the Sandman’s magic
sprinkling a new dream
in my eyes,

oh babe, if only tonight
I could hold your hand
in quiet,

and watch the world
like a lazy, sleepy river
drift by.

Autumn Market

brown and white grains
the deep red of dried dates,
filling twenty-something
square boxes in a row,
the dingy multi-colored awnings
stretch out against a pure
bright blue sky,
thick puffy blankets sprinkled
with tiny red and yellow flowers
and sparkly pink princess dresses
hang from floor to ceiling,
we drift from stall to stall
the disgusting scent of chickens
and ducks in cages,
mingles with burnt sweet potato
and honey rice cakes,
one ahjusshi grins at me
with sparkling, wrinkled eyes
as he playfully gives me
a package of yak-gwa, like a father
feeding his son with a “rocket spoon”
the yak-gwa crashes into my bag
and we all laugh.

Half a Peninsula

I stare out the window
my eyes fixated
on north
hints of blue sky on the horizon,
“guess it’s time to pay”
I hear the words in my mind
but vaguely.
without form, like small
spoken feelings
a heavy weight dropped
from some man’s shoulders
and into my head,
is it so?
the crisp sound of jets
airplanes equipped for war
cut through the cool air, and
every swish of a car
in the 8 o’clock rush hour
sounds like an air drill
about to begin,
yet all I can think
with a silent settling
as tea leaves in a steaming cup,
is it
really
so?

Shilddeugi (Cat’s Cradle)

I feel my cheeks blushing-
the tiny cosmos flowers
of autumn have bloomed
across my pale skin,
you are laughing at me
with your sparkling
mischievous eyes,
your fingers brush mine and
we dance together, the strings
bouncing up and down
crossing and switching hands
like the conversation
we cannot dream of having,
your short, enchanting explanations
“no, this way, no, this way,”
reminds me
you are so young and I
know nothing of you,
though the sunlight today is bright
the colors of early autumn are vivid
and we are laughing,
I learned from last time
that I shouldn’t love a man
whom I know nothing of.

Betrayal

I will not let a coward
tell me what is brave
for our fear is but a symptom
of soulless misery,
remember that night you kissed me
and came out of the shower all
wet-headed and glimmering?
I won’t ask you to
pull magic from your
alcohol-impaired mind,
as honey spilled from your lips
all down my neck and
over the pillowcase…
your sweet, empty promises
and the blood trickling down
your leg,
were both pumped
from a young, beating heart
curse my numb fingers, the candles
and the rain
in the downpour I claimed
we’d never break my heart
and you said that’s okay,
so I gave only
my summer mouth a
good washing out
and never cried over you,
if only I knew how to behave—
but you won’t remember
the first night at City Hall
smoky room and soju
and old news, can’t be reprinted…
those eyes, an afterimage
long-gone their cold
scintillating light
on the black summer sky,
I will paint on the night,
your honey blood the ink
of each word I write,
this is not the first or second
betrayal of my intention,
so I’ll come around
burning, the last time
with a vengeful fire
I’ll rescue my lost words.