a tandem bicycle hits the ground twice as hard

A heart

Is a pendulum

Passing time.

I’ll be fine.

My eyes tear bloody holes:

Holes in her face.

Holes in her heart.

Holes in all the wrong places.

For no fucking reason they do,

For no fucking reason do the superman-style lasers of

Feelings

Drip from these unfeeling sockets and soil the layered newspapers that line my skull.

And for someone that thinks they know everything

The frown on her face is a hole in my universe.

And for someone who wants her to be everything

When she is not

It tears down the walls.

These paper mache walls,

Like a pre-kindergarten volcano,

Stolen from the porch before the vinegar could ever hit the baking soda.

Who would take a volcano?

She took the volcano.

And I don’t know how or why, or what I could do about it, even if I knew

How?

Or Why?

But I do know that, 

For some reason,

I and She exist somehow in tandem,

Somehow in unison;

Like a two person bike,

I am falling fast towards the ground

Hoping that somehow by sheer force of will

I can overcome gravity for the two of us.

And I could right this bike.

Even as the rubber runs away from me,

As the sound shoots through my ears:

That great pendulum’s brawny swing stops the movement,

Stops the fall of our bike,

Stops the air that supports us.

And it leaves my heaving chest

Pounding in her dry cold breath

As the only thing that supports this bike

Stopped in space and time.

Photo via Amazon.com

minty

By the river with the low hanging cypress trees and the strong rapids, down by the field, she was sleeping, 

envisioning God,

envisioning freedom, 

envisioning life. 

But reality woke her from what she knew to be a dream, and not her future. 

she was neglected, hurt, defined by the scar on her forehead. 

she was abused for the color of her skin

she was owned.

she was cheated by the world, just like each of her brothers and her sisters.

photo credit: phoebewahl.tumblr.com

she was alone. 

she waited for an answer, an answer that could only come from liberty or from death. 

so minty ran. 

minty ran far,

one-hundred miles far following the North Star that shown bright in the sky.

when she was lost, He guided her to the river that took her home, 

the river that took her away from the heat of hatred and grimness

the river that washed over her face, cleaning her from the dirt of her “masters.”

in thirty-days time, she felt 

the warmth of acceptance, 

the warmth of respect. 

she stand there,

with the right of her freedom in her grasp,

the sun reflected in her tear-filled eyes. 

Minty felt the freedom embrace her,

she felt her brothers and sisters around her,

she felt the comfort of a home.

Itchy

I have a bad case of itchy foot

The itchy foot runs through my leg

When I itch the itch it numbs my toes

Through my foot it goes

And all the way into my calf

It feels like the beginning of poison oak

The sweltering alergic reaction

That has plagued me since days old

I feel the familiar itch

The friendly ooze

The glorious disgusting hot irritated mess that is poison oak

But not quite

It’s just one singular bulb

One little plague bubonic

A tiny little boil

A reminder of bare feet in mosquito territory

A reminder like a cracked phone screen

Or a scar on your arm

Something you see everyday

A reminder of something you forgot

Like her face in my camera roll

Like looking back at just how perfect it has been

Because so often I took photos when things were good

When I wasn’t staring at a blank google doc

An image stamped in my skull

When it was incredible

Or when it was supremely funny

Or when it hurt like a mountain insurmountable

And when I scroll back and see these myrtle memories

For an instant I feel that excitement that takes me back

That yearning for days old

But not for a million dollars

Not for an ounce of that love that I felt

Would I miss a second of the now

It’s weird

But I scratched the itch

And honestly it doesn’t itch anymore

Lost In Translation

Being someone who considers themselves a second language speaker, I have always found that my native-language of Mandarin (although no longer as good as my English), holds a few words or phrases that I realized couldn’t translate into English. I say this not because there weren’t words for them in the English dictionary, because there were plenty, but because of the meaning that is lost in translating them into another language.
Mandarin has roots that trace back 3,000 years to the origin of the Chinese language, more recently becoming the common language of China over 700 years ago. Because of this, over the centuries, Chinese characters have gone from simply representing ideas or objects, to imbedding themselves into the deeper meaning of these ideas, becoming symbolic of what they represented.
I really don’t know if that would make sense to anyone who doesn’t have a non-English language where they can find an example of this. But essentially, what I’m trying to say, is as time as progressed, these words have solidified themselves as the sole-identifier for these ideas, meaning that the word in itself evokes instant imagery and clarity on whatever is being conveyed, it is the ultimate adjective, noun, verb, it requires no follow up, the word is a definition in itself just from the emotions it lets off.
Below I have jotted down a few that I’ve heard over the past several weeks that I don’t believe could ever be translated into another language and hold the same significance that it does in Mandarin.
香- xiang, like very good taste, smell, just feels right on the palate
哎哟,你做的饭好香啊
aīyō,nǐzuò dèfànhǎoxiāng a!
Oh my, this food that you made is so savory!
(Personally when I use this word, it evokes an image of that scene from Ratatouille when Remi takes a bite of the cheese and strawberry together and colors begin to swirl together on screen as he’s just in ecstasy. Just to give an example of what I mean by evocative)
情 qing, like very caring of, adoring, affection, lovey-dovey
转盼多情
Zhuǎn pàn duōqíng
a loving (or soulful) glance
辛苦- xin ku, working very hard, deserving of praise, worked to exhaustion, withstanding bitter hardships
路上辛苦了。
Lùshang xīnkǔ le.
You must have had a tiring journey.
脑海- nao hai, mind, same symbolic connotation as a heart that just doesn’t exist in English
你存在我深深的脑海里。
nǐ cúnzaì wǒ shēnshēn dè nǎohǎi lí
You exist, deep in my mind
存- cun, to exist, to protect it, cherish, withstand the test of time
爱长存。
aì chángcún.
Love will last forever
轻- qing, weightless, gentle, worry-free, relaxing
她走路脚步轻。
Tā zǒulù jiǎobù qīng.
She walks with a light, carefree step.
Source: AsiaSociety.org

on arrival

Decisively led and decisively fought 

He galumphed well ahead

The war won

The battles overthought

To his werriwinkle eyes

In their bleary sockets

Victory had begun to melt into rose gold tapestry

The ride home was as merry as it was raucous

The steel by his waist sweltered with pride

Gold in his face beamed gaily wide

But on his arrival

The earth that had been trodden

By his gate

Since his adolescence

Was sown with salt

And marred with pestilence

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Concentric Circles

Image via OxfordLearnersDictionary.com

Like two concentric circles

I feel the dawns and risings

Falling into time

Orbiting and cycling like rings of some grand design

Winds blow me where the water runs in time

To keep my eyes above the ribbons parched and frozen

Like an ocean master’s finger hold

Her careless calloused caress

It screams of devotion

Of a calm

Of a sailor’s test

Her arms are ragged and fearless

Her toes are soaked and furled

She holds it all together

Like god holds our world

She chews upon ideas

Like a mouthful of wonder

Like cheeks full of zeal

And I am left on the deck like a blubberless seal

Wondering where along my path will I learn such sacred songs

I feel like I can hear them

Like leaves

The lessons

thrust to the ground from their canopy homes 

and dragged

Like billions of fingernails on a world sized chalkboard

reflections above the water

the pool, hot on a september slab of concrete. a speaker singing a distinctly weekend song, listing back towards the heat of summer struggling against the onset of school. but we just repeatedly submerged ourselves and lie on hot things in the sun roasting to save a bit of heat, sort of fattening up for the winter. Peter was ripped of course, how could he not have a six pack at 16, he’s just that kinda guy. strong silent type, super cool, badass; also relentlessly nerdy, shy as can be, and definitely one of the guys you have to know well to know at all. he’s perched like a lizard on the high dive rolling over to toast each side, occasionally and jarringly rolling off the diving board upsetting the water 10 feet below and the less fit, less shy, me on the low dive (because heights aren’t my thing.) 

you feel like the sun is shining through you when you lay on a black diving board like that, the surface burns your skin and the sun does its worst on the other side, you lie there. the closest we will ever feel to a cold blooded animal, or a zucchini in the midst of the broiling of a lifetime. we just lie there thinking that maybe if we didn’t move time might pass us by and leave us happily stranded in constant farewell to the pregnant bliss of the weekend. and teal, blues in abundance like a brochure to mykonos, both the sky and the water both are cloudless and still moving.

in those peaceful hours i saw fleetingly like a stag in your peripheral, the adolescence people tell you to hold onto. we did. we savored it. an experience we never talked about partly because it might seem gay and partly because what would we say. in a way it was my connection to the schoolboys i see in black and white, with my white gloves flipping through ancient yearbooks. content to lie on a hot rock by the creek with a friend you have been through hell and back with. i saw a glimpse in that moment, a glimpse of the school we would’ve attended had we been born in 1900.

Peter never chose me. he was content with the friends he had, i wasn’t cool, and i idolized him. terrible way to make a friend. but i just kinda showed up, next door, and i would just come and sit with him, uncomfortable as all hell at first, but within days we became happy to distract one another and would spend study hall sneaking back and forth between our rooms talking about rock climbing season and expensive climbing shoes. like two freshman boys did in a hundred years prior, one running into the others room discussing the intricacies of a new radio. wasting a two hour study period and leaving homework for 5 am the next morning before we went to muck their horses. and tomorrow we’d plan to sleep through study hall as a result of our long day but instead chose to scour ebay for deals on aforementioned climbing shoes.

 we weren’t fast friends, but when we needed to study we could sit in silence and study and that was comfortable. also wasting our time nerding out over lame climbing equipment, but both were necessary evils and a part of our lives. for me silence was always the enemy of friendship because good friends always had something to talk or argue about. but Peter liked to listen, to say nothing, to test if it would be awkward, sometimes it was, most of the time it wasn’t. but now when i see him once a month silence is my enemy again. i want him to tell me everything, tell me the gossip, what’s happened since i left, who’s with who, who hates who, funny stories. and Peter just wants to be with his friend and sit and eat obscene quantities of brie and just exist and pretend nothing happened.