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Christina Lau Mar 2016
It’s Valentine’s Day.
Daddy makes coffee in two cups heart-shaped cups.
Mommy is in bed, sleeping in.
Daddy waits for Mom to wake up- she doesn’t
but she’s still breathing.
Daddy sighs and goes to work.
Mommy shakes my sister and me awake
and pulls us into boots and coats and gloves.
We tiptoe over shards of glass on the way out.

Mommy drives too fast.
She makes me watch when the light is green for go
at long intersections because she keeps getting something in her eye.
We get to the airport.
Mommy dashes inside like a guilty person in a movie
but I know she’s innocent because she’s my mom.
I sit and watch planes disappear into bundles of clouds that look like white cotton-candy
and planes land pulling their wheels into their chest with a fast whoosh.

Mommy comes back empty-handed.
One long sigh passes her lips
before she starts the car.
My sister asks where are we going.
Mommy only gets a short sound out but I know she means home.
“Good,” my sister says. “I’m tired.”
“Me too,” Mommy replies.
Feb 2016 · 745
Christina Lau Feb 2016
i felt it tying weights
to everything that used to matter,
everything that brought me joy.

i looked in the mirror and smiled,
telling myself i was fine.
i looked in the mirror and smiled
at two rows of black soot,
crawling with greedy bugs,
that I used to call pearly-whites.

i felt my nerves and bones and muscles and ligaments
snap apart and wrap themselves
into each other and it hurt so much.

i thought it would never get to me.
i thought one day i would wake up and be okay,
but i never learned how to stop lusting
after dreams not made for me.
Feb 2016 · 499
tabula rasa
Christina Lau Feb 2016
the sky was stained purple and green- ghastly hues-
leaving me with a very unclean feeling
unfurling on my palms.
I wanted to wash it away-
the colors were becoming one now
(the kind of mysterious brown mothers pulled their children from peering at on mown lawns)-
and have a canvas pure as the first hour snow falls over weary towns.

it was harder than I thought it would be.
it involved scrubbing away the lights when aiming for the darks;
too much muddled together to pull apart the best, beautiful parts,
too much of a mess I should’ve noticed earlier when
I picked up my paintbrush and decided to spread my existence
out and out and out-
too much to pull back now, anyways.
too much but I don’t regret
for I pulled out my soul
and spun my paintbrush around in it collecting
deep pigmented blood stains and tear drops and soft hugs.

only then did I begin to understand
my twisted self- when
brush touched world.
Feb 2016 · 445
quit while you still can
Christina Lau Feb 2016
there’s something addicting about hot showers.
worse than nicotine
there is no surgeon general warning
or a legal age to enjoy a steamy waterfall.
be cautious in your endeavors,
because just like a pack of cigarettes,
they offer guise in smoke.
they can drown you
in your own sadness
or you can throw out your lighter.
Dec 2015 · 773
Christina Lau Dec 2015
I wonder, when John Hancock
signed the Declaration,
if he could feel time pulling apart
then back together,
taking the shape
of his America.

I wonder, when Lincoln
felt the cold bullet
enter the curls of his hair,
if he had enjoyed the play.

I wonder, when ****’s
burned ownerless toys
and 80-year marriage rings,
if they were shaken
by the screams of thousands.

I wonder, when the sailor
kissed that nurse
when the war had been won,
if he thought about bombs
or her soft lips.
still thinking about a title and adding extra parts
Dec 2015 · 1.3k
one-way ticket home, please
Christina Lau Dec 2015
Someone’s world jumped
onto a cold set of tracks
at Jamaica station
early last week.

Someone’s world jumped
into the universe next door,
leaving us all for
being too human.

At the time,
I was trapped at Penn Station.
A pain spread
about my stomach
like a pen pressed against
a sheet of looseleaf.

MTA officials made announcements,
calling it a mechanical malfunction.

9 to 5 businessmen in
deep black suits with bluetooth headsets
groaned and bargained
for passage home,
ready to ride
through a stranger's graveyard.

Little kids ran through shops,
fingers sticky with frozen yogurt
and popcorn- surprise treats
used as pacifiers.

I sat in a well known coffee shop
pondering life and death.

The word suicide didn’t hurt
like it used to, but I felt
connected to this stranger.

I thought about
that person’s lover,
that person’s sister,
that person’s mother,
that person’s friend.

I thought about how
all of their galaxies stirred and switched gears.
A planet of theirs- tremendous or trifling in their own imagination-
collapsed and changed the course of everything.
I wondered if their galaxy halted and
each star and planet mourned or
if their galaxy smoothed over the craters
and dodged all the meteors and
didn’t even blink.

My galaxy shifted and
clouds laid thick.
Stars dimmed their lights in harmony.

A few years ago
or even a few months ago,
I would’ve cried
and thought
about following this
stranger to train station heaven.

But now,
I thought about
my sister’s galaxy,
my mother’s galaxy,
my best friend’s galaxy.

I felt sadness
but I also felt love.
an old poem re-written
Dec 2015 · 725
growing towards the sun
Christina Lau Dec 2015
at the age of
and flowers,
I only knew
endless sunrises.

at the age of
finally comprehending,
first crushes,
empty playgrounds,
and responsibility,
I learned that there
was more to just being
right and wrong.

at the age of
and fear,
I learned what
was worth waking up for.
Christina Lau Nov 2015
the sky was muddled with colors:
each fighting to show their brilliance.
it was like watching a Sophocles creation
spun from truth and tombs.
scenes changed as wheels turned underneath me.
Yellow entered from the left and Orange from the right.
they reached for each other, vibrant and deafening.
Love ensued at their touch.
they danced off the stage,
hand in hand.
Green stepped into the light with a monologue.
he spoke of love lost and worlds split
down the center. he faded away as
Blue and Red marched onto the stage,
singing their songs of tragedy and bloodshed,
bleeding into each other- a Purple harmony.

Black overcame every element, every happiness.
Black was the inevitable.
Black was the curtain call.
Black was death.
but even then,
there was light.
in the stars I found hope and beauty.
in the stars I found you.
Nov 2015 · 828
ode to time
Christina Lau Nov 2015
time isn't the enemy.
time isn’t an enemy.
time is a friend that should be
wholeheartedly embraced.
it makes moments-
the ones you never want to end-
it makes them worth remembering
specifically because
they do not last.

time will continue even if you do not.
it’s harsh ways keep people
from feeling scars as
fresh bullet wounds. instead,
it fades.
the pain fades.
it’s a pinch, instead of a bullet that
tears your ribcage into splinters.
it’s survivable pain.
the past is the past
and the present isn't so unbearable.
the past is the past
and the future is bright.
Christina Lau Oct 2015
he dived into a pool of syrupy, blackness;
dived into his past.
it smelled of ***** laundry,
sweat, and goodbyes.
he choked on the thick memories;

raucous music rippled through
the molasses that weighed him down.
he realized his mistake for dwelling
and kicked his feet feverishly,
back and forth
back and forth.
his lips broke the surface.
sunlight met him with a kiss.
the bad days were long gone.
Christina Lau Oct 2015
“keep moving forward”
is an exhausted phrase but
if you stay still you will drown and
if you lie on your back and ride the waves,
you will be pushed back and back
until you’re lying on itchy sand.
the only way to reach new horizons,
to reach a different fate,
is by swimming towards the sun.
Oct 2015 · 250
lost love
Christina Lau Oct 2015
this morning i was loved
and then i woke up.
i felt like i had suffered
a strange kind of loss.
a pale echo of the
feeling lasted until
the next night as i
waited for love
but instead i found
myself falling down-
a steep cliff into
Oct 2015 · 653
night drives
Christina Lau Oct 2015
looking out the window of a plane,
I wondered if I had ever seen
stars this close before and
somehow let myself forget-
not understanding the beauty
to be found
in a vulnerable sky.

I had done that a lot growing up-
I let memories dissipate in anticipation
of better ones, not knowing, or maybe refusing
to believe, that the best memories were quiet
and garnished with love.

I wondered
why I hadn’t appreciated more as a child,
why I didn’t gulp down life like I would
a lemonade on a sweltering day.

I took many things for granted then.
I didn’t look at trees
with awe,
driving down dark roads,
listening to the hum of wheels
against pavement,
but with heavy eyelids.

what I would do
to go back
to those evening car rides
and keep my eyes wide open.
Oct 2015 · 651
I want to let you in
Christina Lau Oct 2015
You are the pink shark at the bottom of a swimming pool,
a child’s irrational fear.
You are my Pandora’s box filled with darkness and demons to fight,
but also a candle and a sword.
You are strong but like metal,
you soften near a flame.
You are extremely human,
though it took me awhile to learn that.
You have saved me,
and I only wish to return the favor.
(probably changing the title)
Christina Lau Oct 2015
I’ve been bargaining with the sun ever since I can remember.
I’d sit in front of large windows as a child, whispering deals to the clouds,
who had swallowed all the sunlight in their passing,
to let yellow flood the world again,
I didn’t know the sun would return regardless
until hands had been shook - a deal made.
I’d lose a limb or two and repeat the process; ignorant.
nothing has changed.
Christina Lau Oct 2015
everyone describes it as a sinking feeling.
i felt it more like a steamroller on my chest.
it squeezed my heart of all its contents,
my self-esteem rushed out like newly laid asphalt,
while my motivation shriveled up
under the unforgiving sun.
Love stuck to the steamroller
and got pulled out of me like
it was never there to begin with.
the only thing left holding together my crippled heart was
who sewed me back all wrong;
too blinded by his tears to watch his stitching.
Oct 2015 · 1.8k
washing off our sins
Christina Lau Oct 2015
let’s sit in the bathtub,
arms intertwined.
let’s sit in the bathtub
and let the water climb.
lets sit in the bathtub
closing our eyes.
lets sit in the bathtub,
whispering goodbye.
Aug 2015 · 344
spring has finally arrived
Christina Lau Aug 2015
I had forgotten
that grass was green
and trees had leaves
and that I could breathe
all along
Aug 2015 · 1.3k
Helen Keller
Christina Lau Aug 2015
dark and silent
I fought to be awake

it has always been black
it will always be black

my house is big
my parents are beautiful
I think

I like to hide things
I’m lucky because I can’t
hear my mother scolding me

water is my salvation.
Aug 2015 · 380
heaven on earth
Christina Lau Aug 2015
the sunset never stopped.
it dropped down and
hit the horizon with flaming colors.
it rippled across the ocean
and purled into the white sand
and tickled my feet.

and the cold- it made me feel

— The End —