mere dreams

i heard you coming home

the keys in the lock

the friction of shoes slipping off socks

and flopping to the ground

i said i cannot live alone

winter lights golden the wood

of the floor, the desk, the bed

red and blue flannel throw

over the couch

our house

and i smile

before i lean over

and kiss you

before my eyes open

and the light

fades away

and it is a cloudy spring day

you are far and i

have made you that way.





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.

Good Boys

July 18th, fooling around with a guy in the insufferably humid summer of 2017, in Jeju Island, South Korea. I was told I didn’t have a grasp on reality that would get me very far in the dating world. But my idealism served me well. A month later I met a good boy. And now he is mine. 

he said good boys don’t exist
spitting his words out like
a forsaken wish, maybe
he is right about everything
that every man is just a member
attached to a body, and a boy
won’t ever think
beyond his greed,
but I have my dreams
my prince charming doesn’t swear
that often in front of me, and he
doesn’t wash his white shoes,
he forgets things
like he forgets to be popular
among the drinkers and smokers
and skirt-chasing Casanovas,
there’s no white horse but
plenty of Taylor Swift,
no shame for our hand-holding
simplistic romance,
late-night calls to discuss
the universe and hamster homes,
and our future music exchanges
earbuds shared on long bus rides
and trips to the sea
late at night,
only to sleep in separate beds
but the same hotel room,
he’s laughing while I write
this middle school
candy sweet nonsensical
ditty of immature proportions,
but maybe boys are good
and get ruined
like I did, and maybe
they want to listen to
pop-punk throwbacks, and go see
matinee movies
with me, too.


I was challenging you,
with every word
and every action,
a chess move to make you
a crazy man, insane as can be,
justify the pain inflicted by others
with the same voice,
you just didn’t know it
maybe I was too pretty
or too shy, for you to see my
steely eyed heart
hiding beneath rosy cheeks,
I’d give an apology
but what ears of yours could
accept that? You’d shrug me
off your shoulders, responsibility
you don’t wish to have,
never did I intend to
stare you down, wrapping all the bodies
of three or six other men
into one solitary form,
the young player dancing
in your dark, haunting eyes,
but I did.

Shilddeugi (Cat’s Cradle)

I feel my cheeks blushing-
the tiny cosmos flowers
of autumn have bloomed
across my pale skin,
you are laughing at me
with your sparkling
mischievous eyes,
your fingers brush mine and
we dance together, the strings
bouncing up and down
crossing and switching hands
like the conversation
we cannot dream of having,
your short, enchanting explanations
“no, this way, no, this way,”
reminds me
you are so young and I
know nothing of you,
though the sunlight today is bright
the colors of early autumn are vivid
and we are laughing,
I learned from last time
that I shouldn’t love a man
whom I know nothing of.


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.


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
heavy like the
dark clouds, hanging low
on the line
between ocean and sky
lovers and friends.