Poetry & Prose


“An ars poetica, is of course, articulating one’s raison-d’être for being a poet” 

  • Ocean Vuong

It is impossible to hold all of myself

my hands are too fragile.

Suburban Massachusetts sidewalks, pale-lit with street-lamp radiance,

as he walks me home,

my red blood cells dance 

tipsy off the gentle smile that plays on his lips.

Her hands glazing my thighs and the wine-dark bloom that

she smolders onto my neck.

I didn’t know teeth could feel so sweet, so free.  

The crush of body on body, so grounding, reactive, igniting

  a new nuclear planet,

 from the collision of terribly delicate, luminous foundations.

Myself is too much to hold.

For waves keep coming over the boughs and holy rain keeps blessing me as it torrents down and 

my mouth opens like a soft pink tulip, 

begging to be drowned by its beautiful wet sun.

Palo Alto at 6:00pm in November, a perfect rosy dusk. Paris at 2:14am, unbearably 

musical. Brooklyn, 85 degrees 

at 7:00pm on July 23, when you slipped melody and rose and the sun 

melting into the East inside the inlet of my lips, tasting

like whiskey, caramel pretty and burning me dizzy.

I cannot help but crave the bittersweet salt

of waves french-kissing my tongue. 

My stomach begs to gorge itself, full on the ocean’s storms,

but can only cradle 

one tsunami at a time.

So I bail myself out, flood, spill into pristine, waiting white.

Licks of Austin sun radiating on sunscreened calves – June wind hugs and humid grass tickles. 

Autumn smells like a fire burning and perhaps that’s why I’m always more breathless in fall, falling in bonfires of leaves, 

exquisite explosions as

their tenuous paper bodies tremble

down into dust.

Endless iterations of fresh snow on a tender hill, downy pureness

that I’d turn blue

 just to nestle into.

And dark, brackish water seeps into my lungs sometimes like suffocation so I pour

out the liquid obsidian in my chest and place it in crystal bottles. 

I remember too many 5:45pms in this cold cold bathroom with ugly white tiles.

My bones haven’t lost the memory of being frozen.

I feverishly daydream sometimes of these bottles greeting the sun wondering if 

love song prisms of light will be symphonied

out of the glow of glass and

decanted scars and saltwater collarbone pools and memories 

of an unstable house shaking with anger.

My mother who hugs me like I am the one who gave her life, 

whose missing me 

soaks into my skin, damp and loved.

My older brother whose world is instinctively colored a perpetual yellow sunshine. His joy 

smells of banana pancakes on a Sunday,

and a five year old’s smile on a face six feet tall.

I plead for more water than this frame can swallow, spilling over

my skin, to continue to float in this flood.

The way dawn always quavers with the light of new morning.