collecting words in attempt to keep them the same

Spread the Fire

I’m a scrapper I’m a bellying giant I’m a big nobody
I move as I please at the transfixations of my heart
I hold a book and call it passion or shame
I hold a lover and call it passion or shame
my confessions sound the same
my twin my meat my child my torture

the rules never meant any sort of permanence
there was a mean gust that made us play, day after day
I only knew how to carry out meanings,
to be a daughter and make her a wish or
to be a daughter and make her a weapon
I am violent in the way my armor numbs me

my wrong names have called a strange man, father
I grew old to refuse I started with my name, the initial
illusion: a woman holds her own hands and pushes out a body of flesh then leaves. there are so many possibilities to the story
no one wrote it down the same.
none of it had the same willingness
none of it I bet my life on.

the day is over because the night took away the sun
the day is over because God took away the light
the crowd is waiting on the other side for the scores
of the night or, there are no lucky names just lucky hands
that draw lines in sand, to see how far we can push the distance.






Spread the Fire is a Youth Speaks workshop series facilitated by YS Poet Mentor, Hieu Minh Nguyen. The series aims to demystify the publishing side of poetry. In the workshop, poets learn how to refine and prepare their poems for publication. The fire you spit on stage, can also scorch the page. Burning down the borders between page and stage, poets learn how their poems can gain a new life by accessing a readership through publishing. 


“Brother was mother’s first and favorite. He never talked back. He never went out. His paychecks went only into her account.”

To fold confession:

“when yr immigrant alters / a body / we did not make or exit”
Trans Issue 2015

Story of My Hands

While my mother was on the phone with one of her long-distance lovers, I spent the afternoon looking at hands in magazines.