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.

Tense

I envision my eyes opening
in a dull sort of haze
at the gray dawn light
filtering through summer clouds,
Korea does not know
sunny summer days or
romantic, burning orange sunsets,
instead it’d just be us
setting the mood on fire
and dancing round the flames,
the rain pouring down
tall glass windows
in the early morning,
a cool reminder of
passing time and
responsibility,
heavy like the
dark clouds, hanging low
on the line
between ocean and sky
lovers and friends.

7.10.17

Guarding the Line

Your waist
catches my attention
too often,
it’s so small, so human,
I wish I could touch you
like she does, her arms
draped across your form,
your shirt falls gentle
against your skin,
bathed in a million sunsets
a golden amber
a warm tawny brown,
the little specs
cocoa colored spots
dotting your cheeks, ears, neck,
she doesn’t get it,
and I wish
you liked these sultry, smoky summer nights
like me,
I’d even sit by
counting the hairs on your head
just to be near you,
once more to see
the yellow moonlight
dancing through your eyes.

The Chemical Components of Bravery

I don’t belong any place,
though any place will take me
for the time being,
one day,
I’ll meet my match and
I’ll learn how to stand
still, until then
I’m just pure insanity
innocence in calamity,
fingers ruffling
the hair of some boy
that barely knows me
for me,
don’t assume
that just because I write
I’m anything but this
drifting figure
holding your body
over your head
and yet
I’m actually so much
more than judgement
of your behavior
your boyish, laughing eyes,
but I’m afraid
to admit it,
so tell me
again
that I’m brave.

Jade’s Nights

cicadas crying from the bushes
the sound of water bubbling
in the seawater baths,
smoke and pale pink
the sweetly starchy taste
of shikhye, ice cold and
sipped through straws we don’t need,
her eyes, an ambiguous color
seem addicted to soaking in
the world around her,
as much as she can’t stop
soaking in the hot tubs,
these late nights spent
wet-haired and new-skinned
adjectives
we don’t have in English,
waiting on a taxi
our glistening eyes
reflecting the street lights
after everyone has gone to sleep,
come back here some day
don’t forget this place
let’s relive these
perfect summer nights.

Americana

six days ago, I was a better person
and now I know I’m not, I
realize your flat “a’s” and the
words your lips make are probably
unique to the place I left,
and I want to cry, because
the hell do I know
why I’m here
or what I want from you
or anyone else for that matter,
I’m just drifting around
inside my own mind
it’s the 4th of July and nothing
reminds me of home
but these
insatiable, unstoppable,
inevitable lonely nights
and nothing can cure me.