I suspect that if I was taller,
I'd get laid more.
Think Basketball: I'd shoot my shot
over her friend zone defense and score.
Her weak knees would wobble at
my every move.
And there’s research to prove it:
the female psyche is hard
wired to conflate height with power.
Extra large shoes.
As if size mattered
more than say,
as a true measure
of the lengths I'd go for the people I love.
Still, if I was taller,
I'd have an evolutionary edge.
I'd play the game
like a guitar.
Because guitar gets girl, right?
me strumming at heart strings
under the lights of a coffeehouse stage,
a tall post-modern Troubadour
with say, an east European or French accent.
A Filipino with a French accent:
how baller would that be!
I'd be unstoppable.
I’d have fans. Groupies.
Her phone number.
And the decency of a reply
to my text.
I’ll give the crowd what they came to see:
the tousled hair and rugged eyes,
the unshaven charm that makes her
want more by appearing to care less.
Hard to get: that’s what the crowd wants me to play
on that guitar
I barely know how to use.
(But I’m trying, right?)
yo who is it she's really after,
because that vertically privileged
sounds nothing like me.
I wish I was taller (high chord)
so she'd see me.
Because I am tired
of being turned
into a ghost
for an empty room.
Guitar gets girl.
If thats true,
I suspect she won't get me
because maybe this isnt
the sound I'm supposed to make.
We'd just be pretending
to strike a chord on
to a dissonant tune.
We'd play each other out:
a one hit wonder
on a radio station:
Guitar gets girl.
My nice guy cover falls flat.
My Asian appearance falls short
of the socio romantic standard she
is conditioned to fall for
Guitar gets girl
Same song. Play on.
And forget accompaniment (Ditch guitar)
All I need is a pen
to write lyrics
for my new single.
I’ll start a one-man indie band
and swoon in solitude
over who I sound like
on my own.
I greet you like a new shore with a wave that says hi and bye together.
Somewhere in between, I entertained the idea that we might have met on a train in Seattle once. We sat sideways on the edge of a deep conversation, staring out the window as the rain did the talking.
My mantra is an old Samurai teaching: defeat who you were yesterday. I told myself that I'll have something to say to you by tomorrow.
I write stuff down for inner peace. The pen is my sword.
I got it. When the pandemic is over, let's order clam chowder in lidded to-go cups and meet at the edge of a pier where ships leave. After a while, the sight of departure takes on a charm of its own.
I can talk to you more freely on higher ground, like a rooftop. Or a train platform overlooking uptown Chicago. It will feel like we've risen above the noise.
I make a pretty good penpal. I also have anime hair. And an enviable Samurai sword collection.
Do abs still count?
My brain is in great shape. Don't mind if the thoughts floating out of it are going over your head. It's better than going over heels. That would be hopelessly romantic.
Dating apps remind me of a formula in astronomy that says the odds of intelligent life beyond Earth are a statistical impossibility. Still, you can't help but look up on dark nights asking if you're alone.
I want to say I met a girl who I began writing about, the kind that doesn't just smile at you to be polite. Consider this an invitation to write back.
You'll get my name then,
fades into view
at an hour some call
out of place,
not a moon and not
quite a star,
a wisp of incandescence.
on an empty rooftop.
The glow remains,
no matter how far
apart we orbit
through cold and godless
past new worlds
we’ll never know.
Space comet neowise sky
Words become the wind
We say Bye and Hi in waves
Strangers share a drink
I'm proud of the memories we forged. I'm proud of the times we wrote our names down when it counted. We showed up. I will never fail to smile while thinking of the moment you smiled back: on that stage at the Mill in Chicago, at the edge of that pier in Seattle, while walking through that lamplit alley in D.C. We were one story. I loved the way we rode the train on those nights. We were one with the wind. I loved how we got up each time the sky fell. It was about those steps we took to get back to our center. I love how we greeted adversity with compassion. I'm proud of how close we became in solitude. We got on planes and planted our flag of conquest in nearly every city on the map. I'm proud of how far we've come. There's no telling where we're capable of going from here.
I passed through the airport in Minneapolis once.
Maybe, we brushed elbows in the security line. We took off our shoes side by side while they poked through our luggage.
That's when it hit me: there are so many people I'll see once and then never see again. Like, one look is all I'll get, for life!
I walked straight through the metal detector and never looked back.
And now, I keep my distance: six feet away as six feet under, masks as muzzles so that we speak only in glances.
I should have given you a better look on my way to the gate,
before the flights to our final destinations.
Every meeting is both a reunion and a rift.
Strangers like us move apart
with each hollow hello or comment about the weather.
I mean, what if every meeting like that was a loss?
We are good as dead to each other
on arrival and departure,
footprints swept clean by
the wind created from dead bodies
walking the other way.
I should have said this to you
about the virus
as proof of our survival,
how we’re in this together, how your loss is mine.
Each new disaster,
natural or otherwise,
keeps seizing our lungs and
our last breaths like we have
nothing to say.
This is a portrait of backs turned.
It's inspired by windows
on a railcar
passing an anywhere town
where turned backs
the shape of faraway kites
move farthest on windy days.
This is the wall
where a portrait of backs turned
could have been framed,
by the silhouettes of parting words
left in eraser dust.
These are the overcoats left
on the backs of empty bar chairs.
We sat on the precipice of a deep
Your face was a blur.