Not Tonight

She knocked on the front door twice
another knock yet still no answer
she shook her head and whispered, “No, not tonight.”
before pushing the door open

A sigh finally escaped her chapped lips
she did not know it was even possible
to hold her breath for that long

Leaning against the wall,
she struggled to take off her heels
“I swear these heels will be the death of me!”
she always needed help to unzip it
but now she wouldn’t, she knew she couldn’t

“I’m home!”, she shouted at the empty house
nobody’s home
but she did it anyway
old habits never died

Her head was throbbing
but taking pills wouldn’t make it go away
the pain would never go away
like ghosts and evil spirits—haunting her even in her sleep

She dragged her wobbly feet to the bedroom
the bed was always made
not a single crumple, not a single dust
no stain at all
as if she never slept on it

She stared at the bed
her eyes brimmed with tears
the bed felt so big right now
even bigger than the hole in her heart

She walked to the bed and lay down on her side
Her eyes fully closed
but she could feel him staring at her
so she opened her eyes and whispered, “No, not tonight.”

“No more dreamless sleeps,
no more sleepless nights,”
before closing her eyes

The Lucky One(s)

My father once told me a tale of a firstborn
the toughest of its kinds
though a little bit too small
her first cry—loud and clear
brought a spark into her mother’s tired eyes
her words lost in pure gratitude

Everyone loved her perky little nose
but not her brown skin
or her short, chubby fingers
but my father swore
he’d never seen a more beautiful newborn

Her wrinkly fingers shivering
too tiny to even hold her mom’s pinky
but her mom would hold her
in the warmth of her chest
my father beamed and said
he’d never felt more serene

And just like every other firstborn
she was lucky
to have been given more than she could ever give

 

 

 

 

 

For the Poet

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Hi there

Spring is almost over now
I always knew you liked Spring
you always looked forward to it
more than anyone else did

And I knew you always dreaded the winter months,
not the festive and mirthful Christmas, though
Just the cold chilly winds
and the long, long nights

I wish I could write to you sooner
before the last petal of cherry blossoms fell to the ground
the pale pink fully melted into the ashy brown,
right where it belonged

I’m sorry it took me too long
I was afraid you wouldn’t like how my words turn out,
because there would be a lot of regrets,
an endless list of if onlys

If only I wasn’t so blind to see
when you stood proudly on the stage
under the bright lights illuminating your face
doing your best to live the dream of many,
you were desperately hoping for the nightmare to end

If only I wasn’t so deaf to listen
when you spoke for the voiceless
and listened when no one else did
raising your voice even higher
as the white noise became too loud,
you were silently resigning to the voices in your head

If only I wasn’t so selfish to care
when you wore your heart on your sleeve,
giving love none of us deserved
and asking nothing in return,
you were quietly losing the battle within—all alone

I wish I could tell you sooner
before the last snowflake fell to the ground

that you mattered
you were loved
and you were my pride

I love you, always

Dedicated to the brightest moon in the universe, Kim Jonghyun