sometimes i react like some soccer players when they get hurt during the world cup and it’s like ah you just tapped my shoulder but suddenly i’m holding my arm like you dislocated the whole darn thing dang

I realize the reason why it’s been so easy for me stumble back to the brink is simply because i’m stubborn

why small to big setbacks nonetheless become big ordeals of sad. running off to wander streets through twilight, stand to stare off into traffic only to come back home. ’cause i’m prideful that’s why. want to be sad to the max and all the while self-righteous in spite of everything.

but bouncing back can be so much easier if only I let myself. quit being stubborn about being sad. you know that more than anything you hold on to it because you want people to acknowledge it– brutally so. the people that tripped you and the ones who walk by, you want them to admit it. see if they miss you maybe. testing them again and again. but you don’t need to do that at all. trust them, won’t you? you don’t need them to see your melodramatics. wait for a reaction to see if they care, if they’ll notice. that’s silly. ’cause their care comes even without any cries for help, any drastic measures, any tears. ’cause they’re friends and family for a reason, and love comes in the smallest of forms– precious. and apologies, confessions, discussions in the light of wrongs are better when you don’t need tears to convince. patience.

stop using sadness as both a countermeasure and excuse.

cry ’cause you need to but don’t continue out of self-pity.

truthfully you do need those cries, yeah. but you know all the same, when all’s said and done, you can go back home. accept the comfort they reach out to you.

be a little less stubborn about being sad and hurt and be a little more stubborn about holding onto your happiness and

life.

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I still mispronounce a lot of words and when I get embarrassed I can’t make eye contact

sometimes I get worried.

that when people finally talk to me, reach out, bring up my writing, that they’ll be or they are disappointed. that my responses are too enthusiastic or too lukewarm, that I’m not what they thought me out to be. too reckless and scattered, my words don’t flow as well from tongue. I stutter, outspoken, send exclamation points flying where I shouldn’t even end sentences. at least the commas are consistent. I run at the mouth a lot.

am I talking too much? being too grateful? I’m not too good at small talk but I’m not too good at running without warming up too. I’m still figuring out balance. I’m not too deep sorry about that, I just think too much, dawdle a lot. I’m pretty unreliable. not that wise, not that mature. still laugh too loud, still make stupid jokes, still make too many mistakes. still quick to anger, still quick to cry. still not at the level I can call myself a poet or a writer. still not that grown.

so hey,

just nhi truong here, reporting in.

but hey, thanks for stopping by and for saying hello!

but hey.

thanks for sticking by.

sometimes I write letters that I leave and forget between the pages of textbooks— by the time I remember to give them to you, I don’t say your name anymore

hi it’s been a while since I’ve last seen you, since we’ve last spoken,

a while since I’ve last thought of you,

but I really do hope you’re doing well

sincerely, sincerely, sincerely!

I want you to thrive and be happy, so much that my heart hurts. no matter how we’ve fallen out, I want you to be well. I hope you talk more with your sister, I hope you meet your idol, I hope you visit that seaside coffee shop, I hope you find that movie love you were looking for. does your dad speak softer these days? do you have somebody to hold your crying face in two hands, wipe away the tears? did you finally learn that song on the piano? guitar? who brings you coffee back? do you let yourself cry more now?

in my wishes for you,

the people that are by your side are the ones that let you laugh as wholeheartedly as you do, let you be you unconditionally, lovingly. when you come home, your parents tell you that you are their precious daughter, that they’ve seen your hard work in all these years. you can finally sleep without turning the covers over, have good dreams, the sweetest of dreams!

and that you will be whatever you want to be, wherever you want to be. you see the ocean every day like you’ve wanted to. you step into your studio room with all its ceiling plants and pull out your paints that color stories of your life. you save lives,

you save your life. heal your life. value your life.

that you can be happy.

hi, I hope you’re well. hi, be well!

hi, I love you.

hi, I want nothing but the best for you. hi, I believe in you. hi, you’re amazing!

an open letter to all those drifted and ended friendships and loves.

thank you, thank you, and thank you!

even the bus drivers I’ve met are kind enough to let me off from paying that dollar and give me mini “tours” from the front seat!

very very very lucky to have been and be as tenderly loved as I am! strangers, friends, family! I only smile the way I do, smile as much as I do, laugh every day as I do, ’cause of everybody I’ve met and know.

’cause of you, I know love! nothing but sunflowers for miles when I’m around the lot of you.

always smiling, and love always!

sometimes when mom dries the clothes she turns the heat up to the point I’m not sure if she’s really just trying to pasteurize our clothes

when I fold laundry I am reminded again and again of how much you love us

sift through cotton and polyester threads, mismatched socks and detached hoodie swings. when I reach your clothing, even when it’s just that, you manage to break and warm my heart. the frayed edges of all the shirts and holes large enough for my wrist mark your clothing. the floral patterns have tears that bloom across, the white tees you wear so much have thread hanging out so much I could tie bows upon bows with them.

when you go out you always bring home dresses and jackets that you think I would look nice in. always pick out clothes for me, for us four kids, always make sure we have more than enough.

mom and dad, I’m still trying to figure out what your taste is–you look good in everything though–what I can give back to you with. you always say you don’t need anything but our best but I still want to give to you too. give you only the best. still trying.

still loving you very much

still thinking of the next best thing I can do.

in the meantime, I’ll just teach myself to sew.

grandpa’s old radio is so dear,

ah, ah, ah–

are you listening? can you hear my voice? receiving? okay, okay

thanks for tuning in all this time. i’m really happy, really thankful. sometimes i get scared that my voice will get lost in all this radio static. that it tosses me around, cuts out the important things i need to say, disconnect. but you’ve been turning the dials and adjusting the antenna. even when i can’t see you, not sure if you’re there, somehow i am still warmed. you are so precious to me. i treasure you all so much, don’t know how i’d make it through without you, you are so golden. taught me how even though radio static sometimes cuts off my words, somehow it reshapes them into new poetry and song. there’s a rhythm and loneliness to the static that i’ve learned to see. solidarity. sometimes things don’t flow and that’s a-okay. ’cause of you. you don’t realize how much you can change people, how much you can inspire them, keep their sun rising and their nights bright. do you value yourself the same way i do you? the way you are my morning dew and lavender tea? give yourself more credit please, please.

hey, can you hear me? hey, i love you. hey, i’m rooting for you. hey, you are my shelter.

and hey, i’ll be your home.

tune into this little radio station every now and then. i’ll always be speaking out into these waves. always ready to be received, always ready to receive.

Continue reading “grandpa’s old radio is so dear,”

red lipstick takes a lot to put on but when it’s on, it’s on– action

there’s no point in mulling over something that’s already been done, no point in getting angry and bitter at robbed anythings.

i can only stay sad and stuck for so long.

it happened, yeah

these things happened, yeah

but i have to keep going.

the stars are dazzling on some days. some days the moon appears larger than others and some days the street lights remind me of Polaris on Earth. i trail my feet over sidewalk cracks and throw away old rhymes of breakin’ this and that, that caution to the wind. ’cause the breeze sweeps over like nudging hands and even the lonely blue night seems a little less blue in the presence of these lights. winking, winking. so i continue to walk at my own pace, headphones in but no song playing (they stopped working a long time ago, my need to block out sound), steady, steady.

bold red lipstick on.

Continue reading “red lipstick takes a lot to put on but when it’s on, it’s on– action”

because of you

I flinch when people reach to hug me, when grandpa pats me on my head, when I am touched

do you know how much my heart breaks each and every time? can you understand what you’ve done? I’m trying my best so that mom’s kisses don’t sting.

at one point i need to realize that reason is different from excuse

sometimes i wake up angry and sad

feel waves of nausea and discomfort hit me, lash out and withdraw, wish for understanding without saying anything.

how can they understand if you never speak up?

you’re afraid that they’ll only see walls of excuses pile up, that you’ll see the faith in you leave them, that they’ll get tired all over again. they always get tired of you. tired of covering up for your sorry tracks and empty space.

but that’s not it, i don’t want that at all.

because what i want isn’t help.

it’s patience. so please listen a little bit.

please wait a little longer for me to get back to you. sorry i can’t see you today, i’m a little tired. i’m late again i’m sorry i couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed but i did it hey. hey i’ve been so scattered lately. i’ve been trying to sort through heavy residue left from  abuse. trying to sort through the fragments that are self-blame and self-preservation. through blues. sorry i didn’t tell you anything, sometimes i like to take some time to think, it’s just the way i am. one-worded replies, lack of replies. i didn’t mean to forget, wasn’t negligent, it’s just time keeps slipping through like liquid wax, solidifying on all the wrong days. sometimes i just want to withdraw, nothing personal, nothing personal. hey i don’t want to burden you so i’ve been keeping silent for a bit.

hey i made it out here, i really did! didn’t miss like i usually do, made a deadline on time this time, i’m trying not to be useless. aren’t you proud of me?

hey i’m trying not to make excuses for my actions, for my lack of action. i’m still taking responsibility, still realizing my inaction and wrong. ’cause these aren’t excuses. just reasons.

hey i’m trying to get better, i really am. please believe in me.