guava

overripe dulzura     melts
over   chapped lips  &
the  sting   is
so  good. you lick   the thick
sweetness off   your fingers
& laugh with   your   belly on my    lap
we enjoy summer     there

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lost

alki beach is crowded today. shirtless men
are softened by the sun as they
play volleyball and
children race to the edge of the ocean,
squealing as puget sound waters
lick their toes. at the beach’s center, however,
there is a stillness.
a woman faces the shore, her long black hair and
red paisley-print pants ruffled by
the impassioned breeze,
her black crop top exposing a finely wrinkled stomach.
a baby is on her hip, pointing and giggling at seagulls
as she smokes the cigarette that was gifted by
kind strangers.
she stands, immobilized in time.

unreadable

the scent of manure drifts in and out of
this rural consciousness
where evergreen boxed tractors trudge down
the open fields of worn pavement that
crickets lullaby. their late night ballad is
muted by spellbinding thunderstorms,
whose layover is right outside these scattered,
white, dingy two-story homes and
sometimes these heavy storms gurgle
inside our bellies or whirl the contractions in our heads–
sometimes it’s too hard to tell.

down the rabbit hole

dim lights barely demystify the smile of strangers
and new faces tempt the curiosity of the regulars,
who are mostly white, unshaven men with
company named baseball caps, singing along
to an outdated, sticky jukebox. others cling
clumsily to the pool table and whisper under subdued
light bulbs to potential lovers, spunky women
with blonde hair and silver jewelry. bartenders
ignore the cockroach that scampers across the
wooden counter and the rush of twenty-one year olds
who glamorize memories of that night.

word vomit⎮ summer reflections

as my summer comes to a close, i have been thinking about how i spent it. it is my last summer vacation, and i still cannot fathom what that means to me. i think that it’s so difficult for me to grasp because it reminds me of my youthfulness, my lack of responsibilities, childhood traditions, and that i will soon enter into adulthood officially once i graduate from college. i am excited, frightened, nervous, and eager to enter this new chapter in my life.

anyway, during the beginning of my summer vacation, i googled job and internship opportunities day and night. i filled out countless numbers of applications, contacted many employers, and went to several interviews. thankfully i was accepted as a volunteer for a wonderful nonprofit organization. due to high transportation costs, i didn’t volunteer as often as i wanted to—i only went 4 times. even so, after my last day with them, the nonprofit still emailed me a thank-you note and invited me to volunteer with them in the future. it meant a lot to me considering that i wasn’t such an active volunteer.

when i volunteered the few times that i did, i felt like i had a purpose. my purpose was to clock in on tuesdays and assist the organization with their weekly citizenship clinic by translating application forms for clients who couldn’t understand english very well. throughout the rest of week, however, i felt like i was wasting my summer away. i think i felt that way because most of my friends were spending their time interning, working, or attending summer school. i kept comparing my volunteer work to theirs, and for a time, i was dispirited. i chastised myself for not spending my summer more wisely.

in an effort to speed up the rest of week, i indulged in reading (for leisure), a pastime i didn’t explore since entering college. after finishing my first book this summer, i realized how much i missed reading. i made weekly trips to my local library and read fiction, autobiographies, and nonfiction works. soon after, i also rekindled my passion for writing.

i stopped writing when i entered college because i felt intimidated by my peers and professors. then, three and a half years later, one of my study-abroad instructors commented on how she enjoyed reading my writing (we had to write responses to creative writing and critical thinking prompts). at first, i thought she probably said that to everyone. but, a small voice whispered, maybe not…?

needless to say, i decided to try writing again, just like i had with reading. it was difficult at first. i used online creative writing prompts to trigger my thoughts, and disciplined myself to write at least once a week. at the same time, i posted these writing exercises on this blog. gradually, i wrote more often, and next thing i knew, i remembered what i had once loved so much and now love even more: writing. i missed tasting words, feeling their texture, rearranging them, and imagining them. i missed experimenting with poetry and creating stories. it’s true, as cheesy as that all sounds. and, i’m grateful for all of my WordPress readers and friends who have and continue support me on this writing journey. your likes, comments, views, and followings mean a great deal to me. thank you for that.

essentially, i thought this summer was going to be a waste of time. i thought that because i didn’t get an internship or job i would be even more lost on my path to adulthood and life. if anything, i’ve realized that this summer has been one that has brought me wonderful joys: self-exploration, long contemplations regarding life, revived passions, and spending time with those who are close to me. it was a different, much needed, well spent summer for me.

my first time

the first time i wore you,
i hid you underneath my navy sarong.
your white strings, wrapped around my sand-colored neck,
tightened when i smelled our host—
the salty, cold ocean.

i rearranged my towel, my beach bag, my floppy sun-hat
i reapplied sunscreen on my legs, arms, neck
i reminded myself that wearing you
shouldn’t be a big deal.

i uncovered you
and
felt my fleshy sides jiggle more than usual
when i fidgeted on my towel.
the chill breeze tickled my bare stomach, back, thighs
as i ran in the ocean,
trying to hide you, me, from the world.

i discovered the softness of the ocean’s touch
and the warmth of the ocean’s hug
that day.

the first time i wore you,
you felt intimidating,
frightening.

liberating.