Heaviness

I am loneliest
not in the crisp, cool fall or
the freezing, bitter winter
but in the heavy air
of summer nights,
when no one wishes for anyone
to be the space heater in their bed
when no one wishes for anyone
to touch their skin with hot flesh,
no,
i just want you to come and
fill up the hole in my mind,
while everyone sleeps
tropical nights make me restless
with longing and emptiness,
at midnight just
want you to lie
exactly 60 centimeters away
and whisper to me about
the stars and
the greatest birthday of your life
and the character you want to be
in your own story,
until I fall asleep
I’ll tell you about
the best blackberries of my life
the first time my mother
painted my nails purple,
and why I write,
emotions swirling inside my world
unable to fit on this paper
or in this night.

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Electricity

The lights flickered out
summer night
candles and folding fans
lightning bugs and thunderstorms
won’t you tell me a story
won’t you speak in your low voice
through this darkness
through this warm night?
would you hold me in your
recollection?
would you treasure me
in the echoes of
your heartbeat?

“So tell me…”

does my hair smell like
herbal baths
or my breath
last night’s 막걸리?
your eyes burn stronger
than my pounding head
my throbbing heart
you read my face
because I wanted to look
in your soul, because
when I come here I’m
not in front of
unknown faces, I am
dancing in your warm gaze,
I am breathing
beyond this space,
and into your essence,
what restaurants do you visit and
which bars do you frequent
are you the class of 2007
or 2009?
why did you come here
to the City of Light?
does it need you to shine?
that’s a bad pickup line…
I sit here silent as you speak and
ask me what’s on my mind
if only you knew
converse highs and
bright pink cheeks, finally someone
who doesn’t mind
me opening my mouth.

Stranger’s Funeral

In my red polka dot dress
장레식—funeral
so embarrassing
I’m too Southern for this
I know my manners
now my face is the same
tone of red
ripe summer tomato
where all I’ve been
what all I’ve seen
the more at the funeral
the more blessed she was
he said
and I remember how I was
short shorts in the warm night
his burning, needy eyes
I knew
next to
nothing,
I was
next to
heartbreak,
I’m super sorry but
I keep making mistakes
so I need to run away
and stop finding
these kinds of places.

The Search

i wanted to find her
not long since we lost contact
maybe a few years
or so,

i blamed your dirty streets
your pubs and clubs and bathhouses
your haphazard buses and impulsive drivers
your noisy coffee shops and phone accessory stores,

i cursed your trends, your red-lip makeup and
short skirts, your bottles of soju
lined up behind your long-legged boys with
bowl-cut hair and torn up shoes,

but it was me, i was the one with a problem,
my brain forgot how to function
and my heart forgot how to love you
like it learned a few summers ago,

it’s been five years since i lost her and so
finding her again has been so strange
i’ve felt sick and dizzy and very very uncomfortable,
but she is smiling

her big eyes look into mine
in the mirror, and she is very pretty,
she likes things and doesn’t care
what others think.

long road lover

what if i want to
smother you
in the words of my mouth,
on a long night
alone,
do i encase it in the air,
or the flash of synapses
in my brain
and send it to you on the dawn?

what if i need to
hold you and stroke your hair,
hear your breath
and catch your eyes
to prove it,
do i force my fingers into
ink strokes
and through
glowing screens
to reach your body?

do you really
feel me?
it’s not enough
the five love languages
declared mine not to be
physical touch,
yet this
is not
sufficient
for my love.

Prose #2

i take my mistakes too seriously.

Your soul told me something else.

That maybe I was mistaken, perhaps I was just homesick or desperately lonely. The melancholy I feel this evening is insurmountable. My windows open, the night sounds drift in, and if I forget the cars for an instant, I am home. It is early September in the beautiful hills and valleys of Appalachia, and the green night sparkles in the moonlight.
I am nostalgic, so I want to call you, but the number I have is void, the line I tugged is cut, and you, you are free and dancing in the green night without me.
Although I held the knife myself, you struck the blow—so what can I say? Nothing, yet a multitude of words gather in my heart at the sight of those emerald hills glistening with dew, twinkling as your eyes did before you kissed me. Do I miss you, or do I simply envy you? Do all the fires of my being want to be you, so I can drink in the air I long for and kiss the ground of my homeland, like some sailor starved to near-death, just for solid land?

Solid land, on this empty night, is still resting on your shoulders, and that is my greatest shortcoming. I will continue to wake up at dawn, roll over in the gray light, and beg, plead, for sleep to take me back. I want to escape the feelings of sadness and shame when I realize, in the real world, you are far different from mine or any other’s impression of you. The bitter concoction of guilt and anger remind me…I never really asked you.

You, your moonlight clothed arm resting against me, like a test of my reliability. All I wanted was to shy away from your violent magnetism, drawing me in against my will, or to back down submissively, a good dog to a nonchalant owner, embarrassed to possibly interrupt you with my whirlwind of feelings.

But this night is different. This night’s darkness is too strong, eating me up from the inside out. Soon I’ll affix my loneliness to some other star, a distant body of light that I will, once again, know nothing about. But tonight I just want you. I want to kidnap you, steal you away into the verdant dusk, and dance like children across the face of the moon, and when you grow sleepy, I will kiss you three times before I bid you goodbye, and you sail off into the land of dreamers. My only hope is that your letters to yourself—their sincerest wishes— are greeted by the burning of a thousand beacons of light, leading you to the morning.

I wish I had sent you away like that.