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Math Class

My head feels like a lead ball

or a brick

or like a liter of water is swimming

behind my eyes

with three goldfish to go with it

I can't focus; a boy with overgrown bangs

is sitting in front of me and

keeps smiling

Mister bends down and I see

the top of his balding scalp

Until Now

I had not known what it means

to throw things away

I think

this realization or rather this sinking feeling

comes only when you can


walk on your own two feet

It is funny

that something that at one point meant so much

could now be in consideration

for throwing away

It is funny that

leather softens and fades and pills

paper goes from white to cream and rips

clothing smells like mothballs

At what point

do these changes remind you that


it's time to throw this away?

It's been five years since 엄마

gave me this notebook

it is fraying and pages have been torn out

But I do not what to throw it away

Cat Town

Last night, I dreamt of you again.

I saw you on a plane to the Cat Town but didn’t say hi.

We met again at the same hotel.

This time, you saw me.

I was in a pink bathrobe, and you were in your green cargo pants and boots. 

You hugged me, held my hands, asked me where I’d been.

I blinked.

Found myself at a subway station, fully dressed.

I wanted to miss the train

I might run into you again.

So I walked slowly.

I walked up to the doors right as the train left,

But a little girl saw me and shoved her foot in between the closing doors.

I’d never hated anything as much as I hated that little girl at that moment.

Writer's Prayer

I have a confession.


please listen 


when I’m 






I find myself liking my crying bitter red-faced face. Because I write, enlightened with my verses and rhyme, my 









and who knows what else. 

My disaster porn I call writing and my fetishizing of sadness I call reflecting.


My sonnets of the old man and the sea, my dad, my mom, fire, oysters, bubblegum pink, mortals, immortals, gods, demigods, vampires, lovers, beasts, princesses, Ringo Starr, I’ve done it all.


I make suffering sensual and find charm in sadness and self-pity.

I pick at infected scabs that infect no longer

make a competition of who has the most scars, who’s cried the most tears, pasting bandages

over cuts that were never there.


I lie.


Lie that the sky is falling when it really isn’t

head directly to the flame when I’m crying bitter red-faced

like some deranged moth

in hopes of finding catharsis in hopes that the flame will reflect back to me exactly who I am or whom I have become.


So I promised myself

no more evasive bullshit knowing it will make me pretty

won’t sit on the edge of my balcony like some femme fatale

holding my dad’s juul in between my index and middle finger 

pretending to smoke a cigarette.


But don’t believe in me


because I’m scared what happens after I let go,

I don’t know what will be left, 

if anything will be left at all.


She is a lion with cold feet.


it was late at night and I held on too tight. My fingers were nearly purple. 

from an empty sea, a flash of red and green light. I asked if it was light from Wiltern Theater 

She didn’t answer and I asked her  ?why? 

She said her feet were cold and that we should go back in. 


She is a lion with cold feet. 


we were       w i d e - e y e d       girls and always right

No, she was a       w i d e - e y e d     girl and always right

the city our playground and its people just holographs.


She went with a roar and I 





TV, pig, frog

I eat

and eat

and eat to fill this black void inside of me

but it seems

that my void is not getting any smaller, as I had hoped

only I am growing bigger and bigger, physically I mean

I’m scared I’m just gonna be a frog with nothing but pickle friends

I worry so much, sometimes I feel like I'm going to turn black and blue

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