My Compass

June 9, 2017

I just want to know if I’m following the correct path. There’s nothing more unsettling than knowing, or not knowing rather, I’m going down a path that could or could not be the right one. There are so many reasons why or why not I’d be happy to change routes or continue on this unpaved, undiscovered path. I would live passively, but even passiveness necessitates a heading.

Hearing the criticism, the opinions, the insight from my peers and mentors alike, I’m torn between what should happen and what I’m hoping will happen.

Should I only follow where the compass points, to the north? Something else calls me by my name, but I still have no clear image or direction from where that birdsong originates.

My Life in Your Hands

June 6, 2017

I feel absolutely clueless around you, like I know nothing, nothing other than how to creatively represent my cluelessness with words, like I know nothing other than how to love and how to hide it or show it. I’m as intellectual as a blade of grass when it comes to the thought of you. I’m as sturdy and solid as water at room temperature when it comes to talking about you.

I’d trust you with my life, if it were up to me. I’d give you my heart at its beat, my soul on a silver platter, just to show you how much you mean to me. If I dropped to the floor right now, I’d trust you can catch me, coming from wherever, just to see to it that I don’t hurt myself.

I know you’d take care of me—I see it in your expression whether I unintentionally meet your eyes or simply feel your gaze on the back of my head, so confident in every other conversation but the one between you and me.

Pt. 1: In the Absence of Light

May 16, 2017

Down days make you feel like no matter which way you divide up the time you have to wait to make your dreams come true, it’s still going to take the same amount of time—too much time. It’ll be like the suffering you have to go through is never going to be enough, the perpetual struggle you’ll just have to endure because it has started and it won’t stop as far as the eye can see. It’ll make everything seem worse than it already is, make every pain hurt more than it probably would have been in any other situation. It’ll make you feel like you’re more alone than you ever have been, the desperation for company and the emptiness of voids in your heart aching you to the bone, wondering, “why does it have to be like this?”

People, places, faces, times you thought you knew change, disfigure their forms, mutate themselves in the absence of daytime, of sunlight, into something condescending, horrifying, utterly… unattractive in character and spirit, something unempathetic and torturous. You suddenly find yourself lost, misguided and so very alone. You catch a glimpse of your reflection every so often, wondering if anyone else would be as unfamiliar with the face that returned the gaze as you are.

The best you can do is survive until the next sunrise comes, whenever that may be, looking towards the future, anticipating all it has to provide for you. Continue trudging along, wade in the grime of exhaustion and perseverance.

You may inspire someone to follow in your footsteps.


April 14, 2017

Sifting through mounds of jewels and shells alike, piled high, the search amongst silver and labradorite continued until sunset was due.

Countless replicas and faceted glass replaced genuine stones, falling between my fingers like a cascading waterfall. Every so often, a sediment found in nature revealed itself–Persian turquoise cast into hammered sterling silver, an antique finish over top. I found the beauty I had been searching for.

And so should I you.


April 4, 2017

They say when you start having dreams in other languages, you can consider yourself fluent.

I had just arrived in France–me and my young high school graduate self at the time–and my penpal met me at the airport. I wasn’t smart enough to bring a coat, so I froze in the rain until he threw his coat over my shoulders without saying a word, his lingering, phantom warmth surrounding me.

We made our way to the top of the Eiffel tower while I apologized for my bad French. A gray haze shadowed over the whole city but in an eerily beautiful way.

Silence surrounded us.

When I finally tore my eyes away from the mesmerizing horizon, I met his.

“J’aime la vue d’ici.”

Saccharine Blossom

April 2, 2017

Her voice is such a sweet, low melody–rarely heard, but when it is, it lingers as a flutter in every heart and mind she meets.

She was never one to voice herself, only speaking through her portraits and obsessions, hugging her sketchbook closely as though it were her only means of communication.

She could melt your heart with the emotion she doesn’t express through words, but through the eagerness in her eyes, the delicate, upturned corners of her soft, coral lips.

She’ll stop your heart only to make it beat again, then make it beat harder than before. Seeing her once gave you some strange sense of fulfillment and you long await each passing moment until you see her again.

Red Light City

April 1, 2017

“My dad calls it that because the stoplights change so quickly from green to yellow to red,” he said to me, pulling up to an intersection. “Like, if you blink, you’ll miss it.” His right hand hung limply over the top of the steering wheel as he turned to look at me sitting in the passenger seat.

We’d just finished his senior photography shoot and decided to stop by a local shake place/cafe I’d discovered during a pep rally I attended while I was still in high school.

The cafe was situated on the corner of the street, furnished with old wooden table sets, secondhand street signs and posters on one wall, shelves lined with jugs and tall shake glasses all the way to the ceiling on the other.

He told me that, only a few years ago, this town had just been one gas station, one daycare center, one elementary school, one stoplight, and underdeveloped roads without streetlamps. It was an intimately remote area, but you’d have to travel half a mile to find your next door neighbor outside of the town proper, but he called it home.

At the cafe, he and I sat atop the barstools while I absently prodded at the enormous scoop of vanilla ice cream hanging off the side of the jug of Coke.

He reminisced, realizing he’d be graduating high school soon. He told me his mom used to take him and his sister to the secondhand store to get clothes, and every Saturday, early morning, his whole family would go to the laundromat to do the week’s laundry. He told me when he started high school, he could’ve attended the private school his mom had in mind for him and his sister, but things happened and he ended up at the same high school as me instead.

I’m ever-grateful for it.

Hands, My Vice

March 30, 2017

I have a hard time telling between age groups by faces. Some have baby faces through their late twenties, but for others, puberty treated them better than it did me.

But one thing I love about everyone is their hands; I can’t tell between a 24- and a 25-year-old but I can differentiate between late twenties and thirties, or late thirties and​ forties and so on. I just love hands and I don’t really know why.

I just get a sense of intimacy with people’s hands–scars, nail shapes, wrinkles, visible veins–it’s like I could read their story in their fingers or palms.

They’re hands to hold, hands to create, hands to soothe. Hands that have held, hands that have created, hands that have soothed. And if they become a part of your life their hand can hold and soothe yours, and stories behind your hands can come together, too, creating a new story for the both of you.

Here’s What You Do Today

Throw away your morals and carpe diem!

Realize that something is meant to happen and it so badly wants you to act upon it.

Realize that there is much more out there waiting for you and the only thing stopping you is mahmilapinatapei.

Realize that I love you–I actually love you.

And if you do, too… Forget everything else and show me.

To Infinity With Me

March 12, 2017

My twirling dress flowed with the wind of the wood as I took your hand, sure of what my heart called for.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” I mumbled as you simply smiled at me, leading me to a secluded area, the anthem of my dreams echoing softly in the background.

I don’t remember what happened before I woke up from that illusion, except that I don’t know who you were and I dearly wish I did.