blades turn like windmills


im just going to end this

i didn’t know that the word “no” could have so many interpretations until i met you.

i’m suffocating under the weight of your rhapsody. i don’t want to hear your words anymore, don’t want you to stain me with red from touches i don’t want, don’t want paper cuts from letters i can’t keep. this melody is heavy. i don’t like love songs anymore. you make my heart beat faster but in a way that isn’t love, make me tense up, make me scared. stop using unrequited love as an excuse to do whatever you want. because it’s out of the selflessness of your heart? that you’ll love me from a distance? why are you so close then? you make my skin run cold. you keep slamming at my door to let you in. but it’s hard to speak out when you wall up in excuses, make my throat close up when your eyes get wide, when you move your hands to throw things, your feet to kick. and when you open your mouth, i’m scared.

hey, i’m tired.

i’ve been.

can you please let me leave?

calm down, you’re running at the mouth, kicking daisy heads off recklessly.


gotta watch my tongue. be alone for a bit. need to humble myself, calm down a bit. getting too arrogant, let’s not be too cocky now just ’cause you’re a bit louder now, a little more heard. can’t have ourselves building up the residue of compliments and acknowledgement now. hold them to heart but don’t adorn them like shiny things again, remember to be genuine okay? treasure not flaunt.

can’t afford to lose ourselves in numbers, names, and voices– especially our own. can’t afford to speak ill of others, can’t afford to get angry so quick, offended so quick. can’t forget to think every person as precious. keep secrets and words. don’t be so big-headed, so crude, so self-centered. yeah, you’re nhi, but are you a good person? can you do what you need to do? don’t do what you shouldn’t? stop giving yourself passes.

i’m not going to fall into the same pattern anymore.

wake up, and move on with a more honest reality. these images are stop motion shots i’ve modeled to my tastes. let’s try living without the lights, camera, action, okay? adjust the focus to what’s in front of you, it’s not improv this time, not theatre, just you.



watch your tongue, hasty girl. too quick to share, silence is golden in itself.

(i’ll try calling after you this time, a checkbox for this summer)

it’s been a while since I’ve dreamed about you. this time around you showed up on my front porch (which you’ve never done) with that crooked, toothy smile that you’ve always had (and I always adored). hey, I never told you those seven years back that I was (probably) very in love with you.

you told me my red sweater was nice (it is), asked me how I’ve been all these years (little roughened up but doing wonderfully). I wonder how you’re doing all those states away. you’ve tucked yourself away in between the leaves that change color, debate with the pigeons that see different skies over there. but we still see the same sun. do you know how warmed i was all those years back when the sunshine, sport-star you would say good morning to the baggy-clothed, icy me (very warmed)?

it was time for you to go so I started to say goodbye. but before I finished you leaned forward to kiss my cheek. so I pulled you behind the column of my porch to cover someways from the gossipy sparrows in the pomegranate bush and you leaned down. kissed you once, twice, and another time. gentle. you melt me just the same as all those years back.

so hey, be well, wishing you all the best, you’ve always done stunning no matter where you’ve gone (wish you stayed),

I’ll see you later (I’m still in love with you)

Continue reading “(i’ll try calling after you this time, a checkbox for this summer)”

sometimes i still catch myself rolling marbles in the palms of my hands

i always think too much. always sift words around in my head and on my tongue like marbles, keep them collected but never shoot them.

i never learned how to play with marbles.

mom and dad just gave them to us, never really gave us much explanation, let us figure it out for ourselves. i liked holding them up to the sunlight. i remember picking up a large marble in the back of  bà ngoại’s–grandma’s–house in vietnam, near the stray cats and the pipes. i still tell myself to this day that the cats brought it to me. bà ngoại used to call me her “kitty” ’cause i was born into the year of the cat, clever and confident. so this odd orb made me feel warmed, i saw it as a gift of camaraderie. the marble sat well in my hand in a way that was cold at first, then warm. scratched up in some ways, not easy to see through like the usual marbles. if you held it to the light, it didn’t shine through in the way marbles did, but changed into purples to blues to greens to yellows, at one point a bright pink. a glint. peculiar but familiar.

hey mom and dad, can you make wishes on marbles? can you use them to hold down flyaway papers? how come every time i flick i just touch air?

but mom and dad, you don’t have to answer, it’s okay. thank you for your gentle love and care, for telling me to hold my hands out, placing solid light into my hands. i think i’ve figured things out now. use them a little differently. roll them along the ground instead, keep them hidden away as surprise reminders when i decide to clean the bookshelves, drop them against each other to hear the clicks. every now and then i decide to try to send them forward, and every now and then, i don’t miss.

the one i found in the back of the house that one summer day, i keep it in a little embroidered pouch. a pouch with all my special things. trinkets of an orange shiny rock one of my first friends gave me, a conch from my bà nội, a penny from my ông nội. tucked away in my drawer. but every now and then, i pull it out hold it to the light.

as a gentle reminder

to be a little more clever, a little more confident, and a little more me.

Continue reading “sometimes i still catch myself rolling marbles in the palms of my hands”

when you show up to my door like that i can’t help but pull you close

are you sad again? were you crying again? lost again?

you were crying again.

that same look, it’s too familiar. still heart-breaking.

hey, hey. look at me. is it okay if i hold you? it’s alright, you can cry, i’m here. i’m right here. you’re doing your best. it’s okay, don’t worry about me just focus on yourself, i can finish it later. talk to me. or don’t, whatever you feel. you’re shaking. it’s okay, it’s okay. i love you a lot, take care of yourself more okay, i wish i could be by your side more. you were crying again the other day? was there anyone by you? thank goodness. breathe. are you feeling any better? you don’t have to. just cry it out. there, there.

here, take my jacket. it’s cold outside. you can stay here if you want, you know. do you want any tea? i can mix in some honey–ah. i’ll let you go then. hey, i’m always here to listen, even if it doesn’t sound like much i really am. i love you! please take care! i miss you always, see you later!

Continue reading “when you show up to my door like that i can’t help but pull you close”