The Taste of Fear

I am holding onto minutes
as if they consist of
a thousand red helium balloons
ready to ascend like mumbled prayers
into the atmosphere
the same desperate way I sense that
you are ready to leave me

I have conquered time with a death grip,
dripping sourly with words
that cannot form at this altitude,
with worries that feel as if
they have both feet hanging off the edge
of a New York City skyscraper,
plummeting the way my stomach feels
every second that passes without
even a glimpse of
your fragile existence

for I am a windowpane
that will shatter because of
a gentle April breeze
or the caress
of a perfect lover, destined to break
like the fragile bones
of a skeleton that has forgotten
the knowledge of living

the last time I kissed you
I tasted blood in my mouth.


when I was a child,
I used to gaze up at the man on the moon
peeking through the gaps
between the bedroom curtains
that sheltered me from the rest
of the whole world

and I remember feeling small,
pressing my hand against cold glass,
against waves crashing along shores I hadn’t yet met,
people swarming around dinner tables
with faces I couldn’t recognize;

how we were all just tiny specks of dust
frozen in our beliefs
that we meant something
bigger than just our bodies

and now that I am older
and my skin has tasted the warmth of other voices,
I have built myself a box made of other words
from lives I entered by accident,
simply by trekking around cities
and falling in love with strangers
that once felt so unfamiliar

here I am,
and now I gaze out the window
of the house I never felt at home in,
feeling the embrace of a thousand worlds
I somehow met
even before I truly learned how to wander.


so much slander
is thrust upon the poet,
who sits uncomfortably
at the tip of every tired pen
aspiring to run out of ink

she will suffer
for as long as our streets
remain flooded with the blood of the innocent,
for as long as our wrongful hands
desire to invent new ways to tighten the ropes
of our own expired dreams, hanging exhaustedly
around the same necks
that have since forgotten how
to support us

and because of this,
the poet will sob
violently, the way she prayed
to destroy the sight of her own words
sinking down the clogged drain
in her bathroom sink

how willingly it swallowed
every remnant of everything
she could never bring herself
to understand

from the thunderous sound
of her father’s kind footsteps
escalating the stairs after a long day
that will leave his back stiff,
to the absence of her mother’s voice
the moment she finally decided
to listen

pain, she thought,
is a remembered affliction

and it is the poet’s sin
if she refuses to shelter it.


I wonder what my life would be like if I could feel constant in-betweens.
Not scarlet or neon orange, but instead,
a warm, friendly wall of peach or something grey and familiar.
You always seemed to climb through my skin from the inside out,
clawing at reminders hanging from my limbs
to stop taking everything so seriously.

On hard days, I do not cry.

Thanks to you,
I spew lava from my eyes until it feels
as if my tears could burn entire highways
down the slopes of my cheeks,
my anger the epitome of a pyromaniac’s paradise.

When I am afraid, I do not tremble.

Instead, I am a nine on the Richter scale,
a category-five hurricane of fear
that cannot be shaken away.

And like lightning striking the top of an oak tree,
the next moment I am filled with so much joy
that my heart begins to burst
into four-thousand yellow balloons
and learns how to fly away,
performing a salsa with the hummingbirds
and a waltz with the rays of sunlight
emerging from inside of me.

Never have I felt the calmness of the lake.

Instead, I harbor oceans within the crevices of my palms,
scraping out entire planets from the pupils of those
who have spent their entire lives feeling too little.

And thanks to you,
I wonder how my life would be
if I had been blessed with the capability to feel
just okay
just fine
just something other than

But my heart keeps pumping
in tsunami waves rather than puddles,
and when I finally stumble upon peace,
it consumes me.

before him

in past lives,
my heart was a corn maze with no end
and I wandered aimlessly
searching for answers and explanations
to questions I did not know existed

I viewed life through a kaleidoscope
of blurred colors and fine lines
that could never be crossed,
fixated at stars whenever I kept my head up
for a little longer than necessary
in order to catch a glimpse
of hopes falling faster than my eyelids could
drop to tango,
at the end of a dizzying afternoon


on the 4th of August 2015
at 3:39 in the afternoon
you said your first hello
to me

I replied,
and advancing five months,
I am wrapped up in your arms
the way a butterfly resides
in its chrysalis

A summer hello,
a friendly greeting
has turned into the kind of poetry
I fear losing
the most.


I am memorizing

the shape of your teeth, the crater on the side of your right cheek
when you smile, resembling
the California coast

your concentrating face,
the way you dance like
the only other person in the room
has already returned home

how you wrap your arm
around my waist as if you already know
that I am going to fly far,


This is how I know

that no matter where I build my home,
mine will always reside
in the heart of the only man who has memorized
the way I eat my dinner with my fingers
and the way I will always pray
to love him
for as long
as we are given

for anthony

I fell helplessly in love with an angel
possessing the Midas touch
and stained glass wings
that had since forgotten how to fly,
but as we immersed ourselves
in unpredictable oceans made of
bizarre dreams and treacherous emotion,
we taught each other how to soar again.

We danced slowly to the melody
of our own syncopated heartbeats
that matched perfectly to the rhythm
of the hushed songs emerging
from the depths of our parched souls

Gone are the hopes of a future
dedicated entirely to our selfish intentions
replaced by ambition revolving around
the art of a future devoted  boundlessly
to each other

We will continue to glide together,
locked in time by fragile pinky promises
as we venture through a broken world
created entirely within
the small waist of an hourglass

And for one day,  I can only pray
that we find ways to love without the limits
of sand aspiring to run out,
because the vastness of the universe
calls me to not only follow
the hushed echoes of my own voice,
but the brilliance of gold my heart has become
ever since he learned how to caress it