Monday, June 27, 2011


start with a map.

like this. she hands me a single strand, the daisy heads lying flat against her palm, she's chained them together with milky fresh stems. they lie together on her brown skin like they are a gift.
i make to reach out for them, but she pulls back quickly.
they're not for you. they're for this.
her fingers drop the flowers before my left chubby thumb has left its pocket. the flowers splash into the warm shallow water,
a million insects swim for cover then return quickly to their spot in the sun.
the water is slow here in the shallow part of the creek, and we scramble back to our special place on the overhanging branch, almost two bodies thick
. i look up at the sun, we never wear watches, and neither of us has learned to measure day by light.
she'll be mad if we're late i mumble and although she has heard me, her eyes haven't left the water.
they follow her craft until it is lost beyond the waist high weeds at the bend.

goodbye i shout, my hand fanning the air sideways, we'll miss you.
the chain is gone, and like this my sister snaps her neck back into place
she'll be mad anyways, and i bob my head in silent agreement
we remove our once white shoes, our dark toes squishing through insects, through the softest 3 inches of mud and we're already on the other side. the creek only 4 bodies wide, and we run our feet dry in the short crabgrass.

i carry my shoes, erica slipping hers on over her still damp ankles and we are wandering at a hurried speed back up the path. with these legs, i imagine it is a mile to the house, but their open hands have reminded us on repeat
it is only a quarter.
i can walk it in 4 minutes, we've been told, we can wander it in ten. there are 8 fields on each side as we wind back towards the pond and that house.
a brown one, then a green one, higher than our heads, then an empty one where soy was until last week, then another green one.
we lose ourselves in blank stares, and i stop every now and then to scoop up a handful of onion grass, rubbing the scent on my wrists like a
store bought perfume.


she floats me a paper cup taped to a string
and there are words about you.

your hand missteps against a body
and then another.

i find myself open eyed near the floor
the mouths say, yes, this is the floor
but i'm up here tied to clouds.

this isn't the first time i've done it
dreamt it all up in my head.

this is true.
you draw a line that balloons into faces
and suddenly we're fingerpicking pledges of love on the headlands
streetsmart, we're climbing from a sportscar in sausalito.

i promised myself love, once
and you followed on repeat.

but the paper cup is ringing
and i can't help but hear.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

soon seng nim

knuckles bent back for legs
i drag into the week.

this is me quiet.

without language
i listen.
dark eyes
in the corner, two stretches high.
i wait.
they throw their voices against me
as if i could be toppled by misuse.

these sounds
dash left to right
a linear colon
syllable stretched into shoulders
short stem into my skin.

but i am not listening
for words.

you need to be powerful he said
long slender fingers on the doorway
he throws them a single sound
it presses across the room
retracting their claws and fangs .
and like this
they are a room of children, books

i force my soft smile straight
the threads of my spine unstitching themselves
i am a stack of translucent pages
useless words printed against
my beaded neck and hands.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

acres of smooth response


below these ripples
a mountain of cold waits.

she blankets me in the night
her mothering a wool sweater.
my taut skin spits up red patches of protest

the fingernails comply.


another afternoon blinks by
her wrinkled warm hand under the blanket
a fertile womb of rocks.

we cannot share words
from the ear to the mouth, our frequency of sound
spins uncollectible by the sweeping past of
looks, of animated hands.

i lower myself into a train
defeat in the crook of a long day.
i slice at the webbed morning of self
dilute it with water from the eyes
and stir it into a reward.


fingerpicked from the chaff
we is a slow snail
it rakes through the day.
once or twice out the parting of lips
it escapes through the slowest breath
creeping quietly from the nose.

this is me healthy


switched on from open to close
i cradle the last cigarette from yesterday's box

i take deep breaths
and look both ways
before i plunge into the street.


who could i be
with nothing to blame.
no one.

i eat these thoughts for dinner
in a small aluminum pot with my ramen.

more than 2 minutes on open flame
and soggy sets in.
a hot water soak and sleep
my secret recipe.


dear mother,
you don't know me, but you made me. 
on a thick blue blanket on the floor
you laid down against or under my father.
pockets, cupboards bare
like the soft pink space where you heap rice
thin red smears of 
dinner or 
this stale bottom of the bowl
and must not go to waste.