Embroidered Thoughts

Sometime after I graduated college, my Popo was trying to throw out a large, pink sheet. Upon it depicted a traditional Chinese dragon and phoenix. The dragon had bright orange scales and red spikes trailing along its curving body. The phoenix’s head and torso were a dark forest green, but its wings and tail feathers were brilliantly colored so that no feather looked the same. Both beings were enshrouded by wisps of many-colored clouds that made it appear as if they were actually approaching one another: the phoenix ascending from below, the dragon descending from above. The colors of these mystical creatures was emphasized by the soft pink satin that this scene it had been embroidered into.

My aunt, enamored by the image, wanted to keep it, for she said that it could be used for some craft and would be a waste to toss out such a fine piece. My Popo didn’t mind the proposition, but thought it appropriate to let her know that the image depicted a dragon in love with a phoenix, right before both creatures were about to make love to one another.

To my aunt, it didn’t sound believable, and she dismissed this tale, telling it to me when I saw her a week later.

At first, I too could not believe that copulation was the message. Myths and legends aside, these were two different creatures: how could they procreate, much less make love to each other? I’m not trying to be crude, but it’s impossible for me to imagine. Yet, the more I ponder this sheet’s story, (the sheet is now the cover for a large body pillow in my room), the more I understand why it never needed to make sense in the literal sense. No longer do I see bird or reptile, but lovers captivated with passion for the other. After all, is it not beautiful that these two rarities, both uniquely different, find equal standing in their shared love for their kingdom, the sky? Or perhaps I have put words into this image’s mouth —like my aunt and Popo— when I should let it speak for itself? Is it my job as the writer to give it a story and meaning, or simply to write how it is beautiful meaning nothing at all?

Dotting My Arms and Crossing My Stars

Is there hope in having our fingers crossed,

Or are we destined to be forever star-crossed?

Should I hope that these arms locked,

Will keep each other from falling apart?


Will the vows that from your lips promised

Be all that you said and more than it?

Maybe all that I’ll ever be is a skeptic,

But I question the strength of a mindless heart.


Love, you leave me breathless, yes you do

You also make me feel helpless, that much is true.

Like a child following blindly, is how I feel with you

Loving and being loved by you is a deconstructive art.



Her family doesn’t like

Her boyfriend

What he talks about

How he calls her “Girl”

The way he treats her

They heard them arguing





They think that he hits her

So her brother hit him back

You could hear his nose snap


Her family tries

To tell her to let him go

To say no to him

To split them apart


She says that

They don’t know his heart

They don’t understand her

They don’t see them

For what they have

So until they do

She won’t see them

She’s had enough

They’ve pushed her so far

That she’s finally snapped


The apartment used to be clean

Because of her

The conversation had continued

Because of her

The meaning in their time together

Was all because of her


Now as the silence grows

As the dishes pile up

As time together matters less

Like the mess on the floor

She’s learned to not care

Just like him sitting on that couch

Eating his pile of snacks

Snapping up the silence