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

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.

Trace the Steps

hug me,
I dare you to do it again
pull me into that body
I can’t forget,

soft and sweet
stubborn and silent,

the days of summer
being wished away
on the arms of
one midnight embrace,

impetuously
we trace the steps
to self-assurance,

maybe we’ll know one day
if we died too young
and missed our chances.

but you aren’t waiting
for an answer.

Mister (아저씨)

that mister won’t leave my head,
like the taste
of good coffee brewed
in the afternoon, he is smoking up
my mind like gray, snowy days
in the cold subway,
true gentleman
sending me off properly,
his sleight frame coming
from somewhere I
might not return,
as I slid down the streets
of Incheon, I saw
my own reflection in the ice,
little frozen rivers
spilling from fish tanks,
where the trapped squid
protests, his tentacles
stuck to the glass,
when your eyes grew wide and
you swore you’d
see me more, I wondered
like I have before
if his hands
knew their way to mine,
mystically, like the air
around him seemed to
make me drunk, starry eyed
that day in the sunlight,
pasty smell of
wet paint and cold stone,
in the past I could see
his body next to me
and never did I take myself
this seriously, the
unnattainable
is our greatest temptation
we shut ourselves down
and block it out,
regardless of the reason
winter is a bad season,
love under blankets and
wrapped up in sweaters,
a dangling lure
on a wire
he’s never said his desire,
might be the same as mine
but I think I saw it
that day
in his warm brown eyes,
or perhaps his embrace
less careful than before,
smelling of his newest
risky behavior,
he won’t get out of my mind.

Technically cheating because I wrote it yesterday, but meh. I think if I hadn’t written it yesterday I would’ve written it today, and I’ll double up today probably anyway because I have an idea in my mind I need to get out. 

A Little Girl Again

after one week of wandering
I’ve come round to you
a little girl again, sitting
on my bed at dusk
drinking juice
daydreaming, please
just talk to me,
my rainbow manicure
from the orphanage, tipsy
after draft beers
expensive queso
blue skies by the harbor,
the strong smells and loud songs
of a five day market
that went swirling by
in one single morning,
won’t you ask me,
why I’m like a child again,
or who has done
such a thing to my heart?
magpies and eccles cakes
the smittens
repeating again and again
oh, the night is long
I’ve come round to something,
like first, new love
fourteen under the moonlight
refused to be alone
without him,
or summer’s nostalgia
salted watermelons
patriotic rocket popsicles
on that misshapen back step,
swish-swish-thap of my bedroom fan
fireflies in the cool green grass
childhood and happiness.

I wrote this poem today after a beautiful morning at the five-day market, an afternoon playing with kids at an orphanage, and burritos and beer to top it off.  I spent a few weeks in February and through March feeling afraid of the future and doubtful of my abilities to pick myself back up after disappointment to start again. This poem begins with my realization that things change quickly in good ways sometimes, delving into my wonderful day, and finally taking this amazing feeling into some lovely nostalgia about my fourteenth summer (of puppy love, dashboard confessional, and the smittens, haha), and then into my early summer memories from when I was around five or six. I hope you can still enjoy this more personal piece and not suffer too greatly from my lack of inspiration as this challenge wears on haha. 

Easter Sunday 2016

your hands grasped mine
in a corner of a busy place
we were apart from the world,
you cried out to God and
my soul heard it,
what glory
standing in the light of love
the precious moment
you prayed with me,
the evils of life fell away
and peace replaced my fear,
more than a touch or a smile
more than superficial compliments
and nights in another’s arms,
is the value of that faith
shared between us.

I wrote this after church today. I recently began attending an English language service at the local Presbyterian church, and every Sunday reminds me of this prayer I experienced on Easter Sunday last year.
To be honest, I don’t even remember the words anymore, but I know in that moment I needed it more than anything else on this earth. I thank God that He sent the right person at the right time to see that I was crumbling inside. I’m still thankful to this day that my friend was there to reach out to me in that moment when I felt completely alone. 

Platonic Awareness

something about you
makes me feel like I’m young
and alive, fourteen years old
and unstoppable,
something about you
reminds me
of the ocean and the waves
and what summer really is,
something about you
reminds me of life before
I became as I am and stopped
knowing what I’m here for,
were you aware?
you’re the first person
I warned, and told you
I wasn’t someone you could
attach yourself to,
I wouldn’t accept
your heart, but don’t
get the wrong idea,
truthfully mine wasn’t even taken
at that moment
I just said it was,
it’s not because
I thought you weren’t amazing,
it’s not because
you aren’t beautiful like that,
even before I met you
you made me laugh,
your electricity on the train
those words you said to make
a first impression, and then
that rainy day
when you told me about
the crazy way you
think,
regardless of our experience,
I thought I couldn’t go alone
now I know
a strength of my own,
although you’re gone
I miss you.