The Sun Boy

For all these years I kept my eyes closed so tears could not leave and reveal my heart. And because I remained hidden for so long no one can see me. My mom runs frantic, trying to give my youngest brother what she could not give me and my sister: her time. She glances at us sometimes. I think to find our approving nod and forgiving eyes for what she wishes she did for us. My dad’s work is bottomless, his face almost forgotten in our household. He is a genie. He leaves for work so fast his cigarette is still alight when we turn back to say bye to him.    Continue reading


Bashful Pink (Part 1)

I remember handing out frozen coke cans to the sweaty workers. My hair in a limp ponytail, my feet hot from the summer concrete. We were moving back into the very apartment unit we moved out of three years back.

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Juniors (Ashley and Ashley)

I now have nineteen classmates, and I will continue to write about them. Just because. It will be a mini-series.

I began this series when we were all freshmen, but we are now juniors. It’s weird. Time really really has flown right past our pimpled faces.

Ashley Lee’s name is Ashley Lee. Never just Ashley. We don’t know why, but it just happens to be so. She’s a ballerina, and anyone can tell just by looking at her. Her legs are like a bajillion feet long, and her arms are no different. Continue reading

Love, Sister.


I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.

Hair clippers hurting my nose, shoes breaking my feet

You looked at me and called me crazy

Silver snakes in my lungs

The buzz of chasing the Dragon still colors my sight

You looked at me and cried



The story behind “Minky”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted in this section of my blog. Sorry about that. But for this post, I wanted to do something special and explain the story behind my poem: “Minky.”

Minky was the name of my mom’s video shop. I don’t know if that’s the proper way to call shops that sell DVDs and such, but I’m going to call it just that. A video shop. Anyways, my mom’s dream had been to be able to work in her very own shop. So my dad made it happen somehow through multiple loans and multiple drinks with “close friends.” For the first two years or so, my mom was happy to be at work. But her kids (my sister, Janice, and I) were growing up. We were growing up with our grandma and without our mom. Also, during this time, my mom was developing a drinking problem. So, after a while, she decided that things needed to change. We (Janice and I) began to go to her shop every weekend. But my sister didn’t like it much, so it was mostly just me. I would watch cartoons from sunrise to sunset and run around dead T.Vs. It was fun.  Continue reading


Sung Jin hated his legal American name. A solemn man of 45 drawn-out years, his American name was so unexpected, it raised eyebrows. It was Sunny. Quite the compliment to his grunting replies and dim disposition. Sunny Sung Jin Kim. He hated how his Korean name now served as something the Americans called a “middle name.” He thought it silly and demeaning, for his proud, manly Sung Jin was forced to hide behind a skimpy S only after the embarrassing Sunny.

Sunny smoked two packs on a good day. On bad days, three. In Korea, his friends called him “The Chain” because he was known to light his next cigarette off the tip of the one he was currently smoking. The nickname allowed him a sort of twisted pride. Continue reading