Seeker of Secrets

Harsh lines mar his face

and cruel words spit from his lips

with no intention of healing.

But I have found kindness among the unkind.

 

Her eyes are cold and calculating,

she sneers at the misery of others,

harsh rejections in every breath she takes.

But I have found safety in the unsafe.

 

Skin bruised in yellow and purples,

her voice tremulous, like the blues,

eyes search every action for inevitable violence,

ears attuned to the slightest increase in pitch,

a warning for oncoming verbal slashes.

I have found love in the unloved.

 

I seek their secrets

like an addiction to be fed.

The slightest compassion in the cruel, stiff lip,

the hidden scars under his sleeves,

the quiet sobs hidden in the corner

of the loudest laugh.

I seek their secrets,

and I keep them hidden

behind my own laughs,

and in my own lips.

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Dim Sum

Weathered faces beam across the table

as steam rises from bamboo baskets

which hold the treasures of Ha Gao,

Ha Churn, and that weird gray stuff

that looks like cut up brains.

(It’s actually cow intestines.)

 

Tea spills over cups as liquor

rides a rush through myveins.

They laugh at the dropped food

from shaky chopsticks,

they laugh at the As

that should have been A plusses.

 

Peanuts dipped in sesame sauce

is redundant, like dipping my black curly hair

into my chinky eyes.

They are made of the same damn thing.

 

Full blooded cousins tell me I don’t belong,

I never have, with my lack of an accent,

my lack of demurring, my lack

my lack

my lack

my lack.

I’ll tell you what I fucking lack.

That “oh whatever you want to do,

is fine, honey” that springs

to their lips as soon as

confrontation hits.

 

That “I’m really good at math

but I can’t pronounce my R’s,

ha ha ha”

 

That hate for the mutts,

of those people who had the balls

to escape from the misogynistic culture

by marrying into another, slightly less

shitty culture.

 

That Asian culture,

where a man brings home the bacon

and the women tries everything

available to her to stay

stupid

and

pretty.

 

I’ll take my curly off jet black hair,

my big tits and my handful ass,

my lack of accent and lack of self-hate,

my light wood eyes…

I’ll stay pretty,

but I won’t be stupid.

Garbage

His glare is pronounced

under prominent brows.

They arch like cats

as they stretch their backs.

The hair on my neck points

towards Polaris.

 

What have I done,

that was so very wrong?

 

Cotton dyed plaid bunches

around flabby biceps

as he pictures bending and breaking

a neck, an arm, a leg, a finger.

Since the moment I was born,

disposable garbage.

 

But garbage can’t earn a diploma,

garbage can’t tell you you’re wrong,

garbage can’t have a mind of it’s own,

a will that doesn’t bend to your fists

or your words

or your hate.

 

But garbage can fight back,

can’t I, Daddy?

Spring Serenade

Wild violets and crocuses breathe

life into otherwise bland green.

Bland only until the wind blows,

when the green becomes a lake

of rustling life.

 

Dew drops rest on fresh flowered petals

as finches sing to the universal beat

of footsteps. A hummingbird

flits through the air as rapid

as the heart beat within it’s cavity.

 

Beetles, butterflies, and bees zoom

past your face, the flapping buzzing sound

stops you in place.

Exoskeletons and stingers just aren’t pretty

like the wings of a changed caterpillar.

 

The sun is shining but the sky is slumping,

small pops of waterdrops hit the ground.

You hear them but you don’t see them,

until suddenly, you feel them.

Spring might still be there tomorrow.

Wintertime Sadness

The music starts quietly, feet

follow slowly, minds and arms sway

like unspoken thoughts to the beat.

Glittering sparkles of white lay

atop hills and valleys of fad-

ing light, every step a soft punch

in immaculate light gray.

The children laugh and sleigh bells ring.

 

Footsteps falter over wet sleet,

the only thing you can do? Pray

that your feet are sure and will meet

the ground without a mishap, may

be the ground will allow your stay.

If not, your face will surely touch

the ground as those around you play,

the children laugh and sleigh bells ring.

 

Snowflakes waltz, singing such a sweet

song as they whirl past and away.

They fly like miniscule doves, cheat

their way from the ground to just laze

upon skyscrapers, deserve praise

for rising up from the low, much

like the best acrobats, awestruck,

the children laugh and sleigh bells ring.

 

All the young ones would like to stay,

but fresh off the stove yummy lunch

is good enough to tempt away.

The children laugh and sleigh bells ring.

Embers

Her hair billows out in the wind,

fanned by the breath of the lost

and the hope of the starving.

 

It curls like a kiss,

lavishing light and heat

with each one of their heart

beats.

 

She hums approval quietly

from under the black skies

she fights off with her beauty.

 

Stars twinkle overhead

and she hopes to burn

even a fraction as brightly,

someday.

 

The orange light she casts

is spellbinding,

enchanting men and women alike,

her beauty stuns all.

 

 

She provides comfort and illumination,

only asking for effort and consideration

from those she deems fit to spark

life into.

 

Angered by drops of water,

she crackles and hisses

a warning, loops of fire strands

diminishing, until she only lives

in the embers.

Self?

What am I?
Just a silly sad girl.
No matter how I try,
life slaps me and I swirl.

Just a silly sad girl
full of bruises and scrapes,
life slaps me and I swirl
into the open arms of an ape.

Full of bruises and scrapes,
I waltz like a twister
into the open arms of an ape.
“You’re a piece of shit, sir.”

I waltz like a twister,
holding you in no regard.
“You’re a piece of shit, sir.”
I am my own guard.

Holding you in no regard,
no matter how I try…
I am my own guard.
What am I?

Ars Poetica

Somedays I can’t speak.
The words shrivel up in my throat
and my lips shut tight.
But they are there.
Racing through my synapses,
playing tag behind my eyes.

I see letters, jumbled and
heart wrenchingly lonely.
They need to be solid,
not just volleyed breaths.
But am I solid?
Am I worth more than a glance?

Thoughts are beautiful,
but I’m not.
Words can sing,
I sound like a drowning cat.
Letters fly and tumble like acrobats.
I’d rather not.

But there’s no denying
that sense of peace that
your fingers register,
and it travels to your brain,
as your eyes fasten their sights
on the tip of lead touching paper.

The scritch-scratch of loops
and cursives on something pristine.
The way the wind rustles and
crinkles a leaflet.
I won’t stop indulging
in my favorite vice.

Oranges

My yellow, bruised rinds

are peeled and opened.

Displayed like a flower,

if one cares to look.

Past the bruises and crescent moons

of those who touched but didn’t care

to split me open, work me out.

Reveal the sweetness that was covered by tough skin

and a tangy stare.

 

Sweet fruit revealed to patience.

A taste that will never flee your mouth.

A scent that can drive you mad,

but only if you let it.

You mistook my bruises for rot.

They’re not.

They were made by people like you.

 

People who have learned to judge by feel.

Picking us up and holding us in the light.

Examining every flaw, picking you apart

just to see you shrivel

and shrink.

 

Don’t.

 

You are more than your exterior.

Beneath your bumpy skin, your cold shell,

lies the most addictive drug they haven’t learned

to taste yet.

It Starts like That

He stands by the counter,

coffee cascading into the mug

he holds with a white knuckled grip.

It starts small like that.

 

A drop rebels from the waterfall,

splashes up and over the lip of its predestined

pool, lands on the skin of his finger.

It starts quiet like that.

 

A hiss, the world has betrayed him,

symbolized by that insignificant little drop—

that insignificant little daughter.

It starts, insignificant, like that.

 

Turning, furious, pupils dilate

(fight! fight! never flight!)

the mug crashes against the wall.

It starts with a crash, like that.

 

He thunders like a stormcloud,

shrouding the room in bright white

rage. Stares at the brown splatter

he’s made.

The roaring dulls, then escalates to

a lion defending his territory.

Claws were never sheathed.

Hatred never veiled.

Fists tighten and smash into immovable objects.

He is an unstoppable force.

 

When will you learn?

It doesn’t start like that.

It just never

stopped.