A Heart in Diaspora

I have come to know only two seasons, like the soil that bore me to fruit:
one, of suffocating warmth and heat; and two, of vengeful tears of angels from the heavens I magine to exist.

It is possible for the mind to wander,  but for the body to stay
in one place; exploring kaleidoscopic realms unreachable by human sensibility, living in various fantasies – and I wonder,
then, if our hearts are the same.

For I have loved you with the caress of the breeze of spring; for I fell into an unknown world as easily as the fall of leaves from trees;
for it could only be winter that followed when we both froze at the first taste of the burning cold
our love could hold; for we stood on thin ice, cracks creeping and spreading and taunting by our feet, until, locked in each other’s eyes we move to the ground we must burrow under,
to find warmth together; stoking
a gentle fire for two.

for I have loved you through summer,
when the flowers bloomed once more.
and I must say i will love you over and over,
as the seasons change and i fall and freeze and bloom and my heart will remain
here in a foreign land i only know of not through sight,
nor smell,
nor touch – but of closed eyes and steady heartbeats.



It won’t be long until our footprints
vanish from view. Our fingerprints are wiped,
our signatures will fade from pages; our existence leaving no trace.

Call it cruel that I make sure I remain remembered –
By God, I will be
unforgettable – haunting you and other discarded lovers at dusk and dawn – a nostalgic fantasy –
a surreal reality –
a ghost of the touch that you relished – an echo of the voice that still fills your ears; the muse of your lovestruck poems, your stumbling songs, your hidden obsession with the naive universe
where the vows of forever
remained wholly fulfilled.
Though now my name sits daintily on your tongue in a sentence strung of curses,
you unwittingly give me the satisfaction
of being the bitter aftertaste
get rid of.

Hatred will be the scar that will
remember; it’ll
be the one
you will always wear.

I’ve cut a place in your heart.
You’ll carry me to your grave.

Photograph: Ha Gyung Lee aka Naki aka Ha Gyung (Michelle) Lee (Korean, b. Korea, based CA, USA) – Metamorphosis ■ Digital Arts


I am cursed with such forgetful fingers.
All things I touch go unremembered –
duplicates of keys sit on my dresser;
I savor books and bathe in every word,
with hands pressing against spine and paper
in desperation. I fear and dread loss
and to be lost: pebbles and crumbs linger
on the paths I dared to take, all because
my memory cannot sit in one place.
Forgive me for pitiful excuses
(all things can go and be lost in a haze,
with you the lone exception; all wishes

can go ungranted, but the one where I
plead my mind not to forget you); lies

that I stutter and bumble through
for a slim chance of a touch; a slim chance
to memorize your being; a chance for you
to be the one to recall who we once
were, if I dare betray my own heart; my
own self and look upon you, years later,
in puzzlement. Remind me, and sigh
into a kiss, intertwine our fingers,
warm my hands with yours – bring me back to this

moment, when I loved and wrote and feared oblivion

uncertainly approximating distances 

i approximate the distance between us 
when i 
am lying on my bed – 
and you lying on yours, possibly, 
or sitting in a straight-backed chair, 
drinking coffee and overlooking the city:
where i am but a speck of the view, 
where i cannot be seen,
and i 
close my eyes 
feeling the miles 
stretch out before me – and
when i 
am sitting beside you, and
when i 
walk with you,
with my arms constantly brushing yours,
when i 
am close enough to feel your breath, where  maybe,
maybe, if i inched just a little bit closer, 
i’d see
how many centimeters there are to cover
til my skin touches yours,
until you look in my eyes, 
until you kiss me – maybe, just 
maybe then, 
i’d be close enough.
until there is no more distance 
to think of,
or to measure,
but of only how far
your heart feels
from what mine does.

Note: 17 days into trying to publish one post a day and I fall back to a poem I made last year to keep the streak up. Creativity gods, please help.

In frame: fall // 2017 drawing 


Thrice faster,
My heart and pulse
Seem to beat.
Warm blankets 
Pulled over my 
Head suffocates
Me in the
Darkness and I 
Lie wide awake with
The strange noises 
Of eve.

Until dawn comes, and 
It with you 
In the morn, and 
You sprinke stardust on 
My pillow – an arm 
Beneath my head – and take
Me with you to another universe.

You breathe 
In a rhythm that makes me think
Of lullabies and 
The melody 
Rises and falls incessantly until I 
Close my eyes –
calm, now, unafraid –

And drift off to dream.

In frame: love makes the flowers bloom // most recent drawing! 

brand new eyes

People aren’t books, I’ve learned. You can’t bookmark your favorite pieces to return to whenever you’re feeling lonely; when the nights get too cold and youneed something familiar to keep you warm,you can’t reopen their spines and wear out their pages and call that obsession love. – Pavana पवन

Guilt. That’s the first thing I feel whenever I read that passage, saved in my phone for me to pore over again and again. 

I treat people like books. I’m there to crack them open and learn every word, and to revel in my favorite passages right after. I bookmark pages, and use pens and highlighters on the sentences that appeal to me the most.

I pretty much just ignore the parts that I don’t like. They don’t matter, not that much. I reread my favorite books sometimes, and skip over the conflict and the heartbreak to the happily-ever-afters and happiness. 

It was only when I reversed the situation in my head that I became aware of how backwards that was; how harmful – to love people only for their good sides; only for their parts that are in your favor or of use to you.

You can easily become disillusioned as to who they really are. 

You tolerate their bad sides, and you either become a push-over, or put them under the impression that what they’re experiencing is love, instead of the cherry-picking that it actually is.

You love a person wholly, with acceptance and compromise. 

This is why you can’t take two types of people seriously: the ones who profess their love for you after a short time, and the ones who do after a long one. Odds are that the former’s only seen the best you could offer, with no idea of what’s actually under your cover. The latter, meanwhile, could just be returning to their favorite passages about you to reread on a cold night. 

I’m guilty of being both. And, God, there is so much more to learn; so much that the people I’ve loved should have deserved.


You haunt me with your absence.

I catch glimpses of you,
in the lone dusty corners of my room;
in the indent of what could be two bodies tangled on a bed, and even
in the cracks on my lips
(I don’t have yours to kiss).
I haunt you with her presence.
The differences are striking
between her body and mine.
you close your eyes:
the feelings could have been the same
but her lips are too soft,
her waist too thin,
her hair is curling against your skin.
We are ghosts –
existing in another realm,
in a different reality
where the end was only the beginning
of the continuation of the thrill
of a love, clandestine
blurring all the lines –
haunting each other
in the repressed desire
to be one but not together,
to strip ourselves
of circumstances and consequences,
to be invulnerably vulnerable
in the face of pretentious pretension
that there is nothing left
but the existence of memories
made in absence of our existence
even when every touch
says something quite different.

– j.e.e