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.

dry mouth

all i can see is gray
from this room against a wall,
and i can’t even say
that it’s miserable, because
poor children everywhere need places
to lay down their heads and
get some peace,
and i made memories
of this time on the sleepy island
these monotone hours,
the mornings when blue light
creeps up the wall
like a cat, silent and
cunning, deceptively
announcing the sun’s approach,
a liar, like the soft arms
around my body
i woke up thinking someone
would be next to me,
it was just angry words
from my supervisor
for mistakenly
signing the wrong dotted lines,
for my sleep and my
good dreams,
for being dizzy
from drinking on a Monday,
and now I just have a
dry mouth
that tastes like someone else,
definitely not the time
for speaking rationally.

이 생각 뿐이였다 (This Thought Only)

나는 아무것도 모른다
너에 대해서, 아무것도
아무것도 모르겠지만
게속
무한히
너를 원하고
너를 원한다고 생각하고
생각대해서 시를 쓴다
내가 욕심이 많은 것을
알고있다
내가 정상 아닌 것을
알고있다
내가 어리석은 사람인 것 도 아는데
밤새 이 생각 뿐이였다
니가 살고 있는 아파트는
냄새 좋고
거기에
오래
남고 싶었다
그 생각 뿐이였다.

I know nothing,
about you, nothing,
Nothing do I know, yet
I continue
endlessly,
wanting you
thinking about wanting you
writing poems about those thoughts
I’m aware
that I am greedy
I’m aware
that I am not normal
I’m also aware that I’m foolish,
and still
all night, I had this thought only-
the apartment
you are living in
smells good,
and I wanted to stay there
a long time,
just that thought only.