not your speed

at times it seems like
you’re moving at two
vastly different speeds
but if you think about
how you’re both spinning
with the surface of this rock
hurtling around the sun
and traveling not just at
hundreds of kilometers per second
within our own galaxy
but also at the rate of
expansion of the universe
then the difference
doesn’t seem quite
so astronomical
does it?

jigsaw puzzle

all the pieces have been placed
where they originally belonged

the chaotic bag of irregular shapes
neatly arranged into a rectangle
of pink grapefruit and blood orange
tinted fragments flowing from gold

potential fully realized in a product
that was whole before it was broken

puzzle night

there was to be no poem
no words, no paper, no pen
no ink smudged pinky

just the simple quiet of 500 pieces
forming the sunrise and shadows
of Haleakala national park

but i am so used to daily trusting
my eyes and fingers to perform
i forgot how my mind can wander

so here i am, between the borders
of smoky-purple morning haze
and blinding yellow-white sun

turning words and cardboard bits
in my mind before picking them out
and attempting to fit them together

before the alarm

i thought it would be important
to mention the sliced jalapeƱos
or the way your khmer
was accented by english
or how we were straddling
an old wooden bench beside
posters of stars and planets
and raven-shaped spaceships
but it’s not
the only thing that’s worth telling
is that i had you in my arms
and then i woke up

smoke in my eyes

the bbqs are always his idea
he starts the fire, always with
mesquite wood, then begins
the cooking, taking care to
burn the first few batches
of whatever we’re eating
then he disappears with
his overdone skewers to
laze away the afternoon
in my hammock and
i’m left to tend the rest
of the sach ko chakak
and turn the slaap mon
and whatever else we
don’t want turned
into charcoal

bricks in the wall

it was fifth grade
when i told a friend
a downstairs neighbor
in my apartment complex
that sometimes, sometimes
i wished that i was a boy

the next day, during recess
a friend of hers, a girl
who didn’t like me
told me that she knew
she stared into my eyes
and with a smirk, said
she knew my secret

i blanked my face
returned her stare
told her i didn’t know
what she was talking about
and walked away

and when the first girl tried
to apologize later on, i
told her i didn’t know
what she was talking about
and walked away