I Don’t Deserve You

in my messy house
with my overdue paperwork
and all of these thoughts
of dissatisfaction,
angel
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
honey
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.

Hometown Nights

not a word of warning
about this memory
on restless spring nights,

no crickets calling
no train whistles
no stars,

the city kids here
have never seen the sky like me
clothed in all its diamond glory,

they don’t know the secrets,
of apple orchard drives in the
deep dark night,

the cool, fresh dew
thrilling, calling, to fly
a little faster down those roads,

let me out, let me go
release this wild yearning,
longing for my home.

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. 

Phase

womanhood
is pain, all the objections
we’ve made towards
our past lovers,
tissues
blown into, peeling off
and dying away,
womanhood
is blood, of our mothers
and daughters
given up for life, thousands
of times we lie
and say we’re fine,
womanhood is this
cursed lunar cycle,
the cold yin of my body is
only comforted
with a warm sock
stuffed with rice
microwaved as many times
as this day has come,
womanhood is eleven years old
hiding in the corner
wishing
it would just stop,
womanhood is curling up
on the square
checkerboard
moonlight at midnight
on the carpet, soaking in
the luminescence of our
sister, her coming
and going spells
bringing me closer each day
to that phase, again.

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. 

gold and glimmer

I wrote this inspired by the song “Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional, which as a dramatic middle-schooler I didn’t realize was the epitome of teenage angst music, but still gives me shivers down my spine when I listen to it now. Back then, I liked a boy more purely and deeply than I’ve cared for a guy since, which is simply the nature of teenage love (apparently, science says we feel stronger emotions then). I still find myself idealizing that eventual romance; one in which every moment feels as pristine and clear as those did. Very little confusion clouded the relationship, and although my feelings were certainly difficult for me to process, I realize looking back that the adult world of love is much more complicated.
First love is my favorite concept to write about, haha. 

i’ll fall asleep at sunset
to the sound of little waves
against the black rocks,
my head resting on your back
warm and damp with
a day’s work, or travel
–whatever suits you
in soft white linen,
would you be my gold and
glimmer? the best thing
that has ever happened
since when i was young,
the colors didn’t fade
when all our hearts were stolen
by innocent love and
grand ideals.

Fearless

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.