10/30/17, 1:34am

It’s not that we are too good. It’s that we are simply
good, with a healthy tinge of non-heaven that
I, because I am me, use to slit paper cuts
into the back of my neck, at just the right spot where
your torso is too long to spot it when you cradle
my healthy, my limber, my happy. It exists
quotidian, flaring as thorn ends prick at
the open, sizzle hiss snap as my smile grows
frozen and sad and worried
— excuse me, is my neurosis showing? How embarrassing
— and frozen, and frozen, and still, and
— Is it truly possible that you never feel this way?
What would it have been like to blossom
a yellow among yellows? Does it matter
that it’s the system and not you
not me if what we have in the end
is still you still me? Here’s my
Burt’s Bees: noticing makes for pain
but not fault: you can believe that I say
there’s quicksand below me but because
you don’t see it you forget. Sometimes a bucket
of gold is just shitty milk chocolate in foil.
Sometimes the foil makes for a cutesy crane.
But when will I tire of folding? Sometimes
I want nothing more than for you
to suffer. That’s an urge I’ll squash
until I break, because what love do I know
more deeply than self-sacrifice via self-
destruction. For me myself and I, a pit.
For you, an apple muffin, an afternoon
with dissolved edges. Lilacs and chamomile.
Snow. Blue.

10/26/17, 3:09pm

At a presentation for Taiwan-Chinese relations, and I can’t help but feel conflicted.

It is naive. It portrays the entire conflict as a facade as a problem of ‘lack of understanding’ and ‘differences of human needs’, fixable with ‘human connection’. They likened the problem to an ‘onion’, in which economic power, independence, and national identity was the superficial facade and ‘self expression’ was the core.

I was angry at their naiveté, but I was also angry at my cynicism. I have no solutions — how can I fault them for trying? What ideology am I trapped in?

10/03/17, 12:54pm

Last night, HJ asked if he could sleep over at X’s. Naturally, she felt insecure again: this was too much X for HJ; surely, something was wrong.

She said yes.

They talked little, touched little: X finished up a homework assignment as HJ scrolled through his phone. Post-hopping into bed and turning off the light, X remembered she’d left cooked quinoa in the rice cooker. There is something about the word ‘ladle’ that X especially liked; it felt like a rocking chair, and she felt this as she scooped the quinoa from the old rice cooker to the tupperware by fairy light, sitting on the floor in her underwear, spilling small solo quinoa seeds onto the carpet.


Today, X brought up sexuality with HJ:

I’m here for you, she said. If you want to discuss. I don’t have experience, but I think I’m a good listener, an ok question-asker. I know you haven’t told anyone else. But if you just want someone to vent to or someone to probe you, I can be that.

Yes, he said.

But I don’t want to hold you back, she said.

You’re not, he said.

But I think I am, she said.

You’re really not, he said

This is an important time to explore, she said.

No, he said.

How no, she said.

I love you, he yelled into the pillow, quietly.








She looked at his tuft of hair in her fingers.

She looked at his buried head, his hidden face.


She inhaled.


He exhaled.


She wrinkled her eyebrows.

I think I love you too, she said.


The snooze alarm went off for the third time. X threw off the covers. The sky was blue and the air was crisp. They sat up, got dressed, and biked to class.

Have a good day, they said to each other. She turned left. He pedaled straight.

continued, already

X is having a bad night. Earlier HJ invited her to hang out and she began to get paranoid, because Why does he want to suddenly spend so much time with me? The insecure, big, small X thinks he is trying to prove something to her. X doesn’t like that there might be something to prove, because it means there is something to doubt. This is all in her head, of course. That’s what the healthy, logical, big X knows.

And so the healthy side of X texted HJ that she could maybe sleepover? even though she was a little busy? And although she was happy and content that he responded to that quickly enough, he responded slowly to the follow up message, and in the 20 minutes he took X began to feel tight, and achy, and cold. When he did respond, she began to cry a little. She decided to stay in her room and cry here, because X felt not good and although going there would make her feel good she was scared, now, of that good. X had decided recently to never run from good because it was ephemeral, but old habits die fucking hard, and goddammit X was having a bad night and goddammit she needs time to process these newly returned defense mechanisms.

And she felt confused and sad and angry all at and about herself, but most of all she felt ashamed. It wasn’t rational, X knew this, and furthermore it was selfish. Because what she wanted was for nothing to change, even as she saw change glow in HJ and felt it twist in her. She didn’t like that: that she twisted. X prided herself on something to do with this, exactly what she wasn’t sure, but whatever it was X felt she was failing miserably.

dream 09/28/17

I’m with HJ and S, studying in the library at our school. I scroll through Facebook and notice a series of posts by AM, racking up, as always, hundreds of likes. They are a series of poems, each a horrifying portrait of me: my insecurities, ugliness, inconsistencies and secrets laid bare through AM’s eyes, which have looked at me long and hard and deep, which I let in willingly as though there is no key, there is a security guard, finicky, picky, jaded from birth and secretly scared.

“X, with a slightly liberal slant”

“X, with a slightly conservative slant”

“X, victimizing herself through her relationship with her parents”

It doesn’t matter that it was wrong to do: the poems are not mean so much as they are mocking. It is all true. It is all real.