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Deceptively Cold

A stroll through campus, oh so

cautious, wrapped in three layers

and raised in the tropics. By Doe

Library, my woes are realized. Prayers

heeded only on the surface: I

begged for a warmth to guide me through

midterms, yet I could only sigh.

We got the clear skies, a bold blue,

yet I still shiver, my teeth

clenched or clattered. I am still

cold, but perhaps beneath,

the heart and skin are both chilled.

The Sweet One

When Gabriel woke up to the clatter of all sorts of mayhem in the living room, he was already ready to help whatever Saph somehow managed to lose this time that actually warranted her to such urgency. By the time he got there, she was taking out her frustration by aggressively tying her hair into a messy bun while perched upon the sofa with her legs and arms almost just as crossed as her mood.

“What are you looking for?” She was always adorable when she pouts and frown, still, he would much prefer that brilliant smile that reduce her bright eyes into happy slits.

She merely groaned, and he briefly scanned the overturned surroundings of the room before briefly assessing the nervous way she pull at his shirt collar.

“Did you lose your locket?”


“And are you now meditating to try to remember where you last leave it?”


“Hey, I am sure we will find it,” He proceeded to examine the mild tornado she wrecked while giving into his propensity to clean up before he felt her gaze upon his back. “What?” He found a book on the floor and wonder why she ever thought to look into a book for a missing pendant.

“You are barely dressed.”

“I woke up to the sound of someone turning our living room upside down. And, you stole my shirt, again.”

“They are cozy. And, I never said you can’t take mine.”

“I don’t think I can pull off that look, thank you very much.”

“Your loss, my gain.”

He gave up on cleaning up and joined her in her perch at the couch. She decided to lean upon his shoulder, and he took that as a cue to massage hers.

“We can do a mental exercise to help you remember.”


“I recall seeing it when we were at dinner last night.”

“…Yeah, but I don’t recall taking it off when we got home.”



“What was the color of the menu book.”

“A dark green? Like blackish forest green.”

“The font of it?”

“Like a fake, handwriting sort of script.”

“What was the song that obnoxious car driving by playing?”

“One of the ones I hated by that one artist.”

“Very specific.”

“Oh screw it,” She shifted in his arms nuzzled his neck in the way she always does before she falls asleep.

“Hey, you literally just woke up.”

“I didn’t sleep well or get coffee,” Her small whine tickled his collarbone.

Still, she was probably still fretting about her locket, so he persisted, “What was the color of the plate that the dessert was served on?”

“…Umm…black? I thought it was a nice contrast with the cake and that they ended up taking your suggestion.”

“They ought to respect the artist and his craft as a whole.”

“You should experiment more with matcha again: I enjoyed those couple of weeks when I get all sorts of sugary surprises,” She practically purred.

“…Mmmk I can make some tomorrow if you want to.”

“That would make me very happy.”


“…Alright, go back to sleep. I will wake you up when I’m done making breakfast.”


“…Where are you going?”

“Uh, to find myself a shirt?”

“But, I appreciate the view.”

“Ugh, no, I am still finding myself a shirt.”

She groaned, visibly disappointed, but he was bad at pretending to be annoyed as he hid his grin: he loved starting the weekend spoiling his adorable wife, and fortunately or not, she was perfectly aware of that.

“Hmm…alright, thank you, sweetie.”

“Anytime, my love,” And so begins another typical weekend.

Chocolate, Chopsticks & Fatigue

                        Stirring my hot chocolate

with a single chopstick,

                       I almost lost my bracelet,

yet I am still optimistic:

                                 that writing instead of working

is a good idea. I am not

                      a stickler to logic, singing

                       to insanity, slowly bleeding. I ought

                                to stop. The tickle of chopsticks

          against ceramics, I chuckled

                             and I looked upon work, a tic.

                The clock goes on, not troubled.

The Familiar Stranger

I went home this winter.

It has been a while since I last went home during the winter, and it’s been longer since I have considered Taiwan, “home.” The trip could be best summed up with the following list.

  1. Food
  2. Disappointment about said food since my imagination and their presentation set up an expectation that my human taste buds are incapable of experiencing.
  3. Sightseeing
  4. Disappointment about said sightseeing: the fact that I lived in this tropical island for a decade doesn’t save me from the fact that I am obviously not from around here. I have a silly American accent when I speak Chinese. It’s even worse when I try to speak Taiwanese.
  5. Family time
  6. The cynical realization that I was right all along: my father is still a self-centered child crying for attention by telling his scanty number of friends how much money he is supposedly giving me, my sister and mother, even though all three of us are subsisting on work, financial aid and scholarships.
  7. Hanging out with my dog
  8. Cleaning up my dog’s piss since he’s pissed that we are never home
  9. Selling the hoard of children’s and picture books at home
  10. Getting allergies from cleaning out dissolving bookshelves
  11. Being chastised for not being young and energetic and athletic enough to be immune to the genetically predestined tragedy that is allergy
  12. Grandma’s affectionate, infringement of institutionalized notions of beauty and the magic of makeup
  13. Writing about point 4 and 6
  14. Realizing that I am really excited to go “home,” and the grim, unwillingness to openly declare that my current marker of home is in America

I suppose I should instead be glad that I can pretend that I find home everywhere, anywhere.

The Year of the Dog

I can never decide if

I like red or not. Festivities,

traditions, thick as blood.

This is the Year of the Dog.


If I never can decide

Festivities like red or not. I,

blood, thick as traditions.

The Year of the Dog, this is.


Never can I decide if

I like festivities or not. Red

blood, thick as traditions.

This, the dog of the year.