steam out of tea

And then your face blurs,
like a portrait melting behind rising steam
and the smell, the image of you
evaporates the same.


i need a cup of coffee and toast to wake up

i need a cup of coffee
and toast to wake up

i need Vitamin C in my day
to wake me up

give me fermented lemon tea
and cream cheese to wake up
(but not together)
(though, i’ve never tried it)

i need water, lots of it
and ice to wake me up

brush my hair, i don’t need it neat
i just like the touch, the rhythm, the pull
to wake me up

my medication, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
of them, to wake me up

from this horrid, horrid
state of reality
that i cannot wake up from.

Writing at a small cafe
Gazing longingly at the
crumbs of my walnut cake
left over on the plate
My back to the window.

The sun is setting on the west
its hot rays baking my neck, my
shoulder blades a searing iron slate.

It’s beginning to become
kind of, unbearably hot,
kind of painful
There is no reason for me
to endure this fire
No test of gallantry
No need for punishment

There are rows of empty tables
swathed in shade,
empty seats like cool thrones–
I could easily, simply move.


I don’t think there’s a mosquito in the room

But the back of my right shoulder and

The side of my left pinky

Have somehow been itched bloody.

I lift my forearm to face the fan

My toes are much too warm

For me to fall back asleep

And I’ve never craved a juicy, sugary watermelon

As much as I do now.

I think I hear someone’s ankle cracking,

Creaking the floor outside my bedroom.

My toes are still uncomfortably warm,

Too warm for me to sleep

Is this what really woke me up?

What terrible, pointless reality.

But I can’t figure out the best position

To get the fan to blow right at my feet

So I let it pointlessly whir.

Taipei, Taiwan

Stinky tofu
I used to wrinkle my nose
turn away with a blechh
now a scent I crave
like a sweet, rancid treat

A haze hovering over asphalt
the streets an organized catastrophe for
cars, motorists, pedestrians
messy orchestra of honking
windows rolled down, people
yelling in dialects of Chinese
motor engines fuming

The air is motionless,
humidity heavy like wet ceramic
sweat-clad skin
I wipe away the sweat on my forehead
a streak of it, from wrist to elbow,
smearing down my arm hairs

Youtiao for breakfast
Niu Rou Mian for dinner under a small,
whirring fan and sticky fly traps
towering city buildings, looking taller than
the mountain silhouettes in the background
of many hues of purple

Taipei, Taiwan
a 12 hour flight,
a home, family members
only 15 hours ahead of me
into the future