Star gazing was made for
sweet lovers at the edge of
the sea,
and with you I’d like to live
at the edge of
the sea,
like a pair of rocks at the shore
molded by the tides
at the edge of
the sea,
let us become one with the
wind and waves, my love.



I didn’t think it’d be like this
the cold world opening up
too vast, endless, and terrible,
so much darkness
and fearful things, and I
a lone dreamer, cast aside and
for safety,
a cozy, quiet place
to call a new home

old home
miles away, over the Pacific,
big Cali cities
and the empty Midwestern plains,
my home is sleeping
among the green mountains,
it is safe
fields sprawling out
between ridges and tiny towns,
roads winding up
the rolling hills, smiles and laughter
of friends like family
holding me in their warmth

dreams and reality
but it is too far
when they tear my soul,
break my heart, and laugh
at my simple dreaming,
no one heard me crying
through long
winter nights, steeped in
political protests
and pollution debates,
up through May
my heart was breaking
I bandaged it with another
cold compress
just tried to ignore my pain
and cover my fear

that’s why you came
your warm eyes, windswept hair
long form standing
in the sunlight of a Jeju summer day,
I a pink and white flower
soaking up the summer,
you the cool gray surface
of moonlit cliffs,

we climbed a hill
overlooking the ocean,
and I know
all the little ships
on the big blue sea
have differing journeys
some long, some short,
and I knew
the answer to my quiet fierceness
longing for a place to rest,
lay in the hypothetical
journey I might take
by your side,
now I
stand next to fearlessness
your strength becomes my
steady beacon in the night,
keep on, it calls,
through the violent storms
come here, you cry,
come into my open arms.

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.

I Don’t Deserve You

in my messy house
with my overdue paperwork
and all of these thoughts
of dissatisfaction,
I don’t deserve you,
perhaps my reasons for
never walking up
saying, “Hi, I’m me and
I keep noticing you
playing guitar and
singing out your heart”,
is because
I don’t deserve you,
you might be messy too
and self-hating in every way
yet still I’d believe it,
you’re too lovely
I don’t deserve you.

In the end, I just couldn’t make it this year. It shocks me because most years before I have been in school but done better than this. However, I don’t think I realized in undergrad how easy my life was! Here’s the closing poem for May 1st.


the violets have cropped up
next to forget-me-nots
begging me to remember
every single day that
my reasons for staying here
have multiplied, all I need
are a few more friends
I don’t think the cherry
blossoms or azaleas
know I’m so lonely,
but maybe you would
understand those feelings,
perhaps this time
unlike a hidden dandelion
which has escaped the
mower’s lazy, summer eyes,
I will be more of a tree
covered in blossoms
a great magnolia
declaring my love to you
without fear.


Slowly I’ve begun
to want for nothing but you,
I have been bewitched,
I have fallen into your charms,
your coastal roads
and fields of yellow flowers,
your rows of women
in pink gloves and straw hats,
your dark ginseng farmers
lives spent in the sun,
and the earthy-herbal afternoon
bus commutes, of high school
boys in gray and black
long legs and flyaway hair,
among stone walls and
statues, your grandmothers
raising two generations
of sea women,
your crystal green waters and
white sands, the wind
knocking breath from my lungs
like a brief glance
from the prince of your kingdom,
if only he were my own love
and not another’s,
I want to steal him for myself
before he is taken by you,
together we must escape
or I will be enchanted
by your fiery mountain,
ever watching us
like the presence of God,
yes, I should go
before I want nothing more
than this.


Poem for April 14, 2017

Ornament, glittering in the
Jeju sunlight, as the
East sea, a treasure of the depths

You dance and sway in the
breeze, and my vision swirls into
an array of brown and green

You sing and laugh among
the yellow yoochaekkot, but even
their sweetness is not enough

Though admiration is no sin,
those who look give but glances,
while I cannot turn away

Not once, but many times have I
loved such a prize, such a masterpiece
all for naught but my ruin.