Aphrodite’s Disaster


She burned the box devoted to him,

And scattered the ashes in his car.

Hiss —

Irises flared in heated rage,

As she hugged her knees in the backseat.


He broke the window to her bedroom,

And stumbled through on drunken legs.

Thud —

Trembling knees cracked on wooden boards,

As he dropped his head to the mattress.


She found their picture in the glovebox,

And clutched the print with bloodless knuckles.

Rip —

Smirk and smile mocked falling tears,

When she tore their faces to pieces.


He saw the frame upon the nightstand,

And seized it with a strangled laugh.

— Crash —

Glass shattered, denting white plaster,

When he threw their love across the room.






She clawed his skin as he crushed her heart,

And Aphrodite sobbed from her throne,

As her masterpiece fell to Hades.

– kh.

March 2017 | Placer County, California

V. Dear Lissa


She wrote a letter once last year.

Dear Lissa.

She slipped it in the mailbox as he left,

He’s leaving today.

And ran inside to lock the door.

He told me to wait,

She sat and stared,

So I will.

And stared and waited.

I’m not worried.

I trust him.

She wrote a letter once this year.

Dear Lissa,

She slipped it in the mailbox as she left,

I waited.

And walked away

He told me to wait,

From an empty house.

But he lied.

She walked and breathed,

He won’t come back.

And breathed and smiled.

I know it.

But I’m ok.

– kh.

© Placer County, California | April 2016


She marks him on the surface.

Gliding thick lines over smooth skin,

Drawing her fears in midnight black,

Searching for the end.

He marks her deep within.

Etching his name on her bones,

Holding her heart between his fingers,

Awaiting completion.

He is her canvas,

A masterpiece;

She is his artist,

A wunderkind;

And together they bleed,


– kh.

© Placer County, California | September 2015

Two Eiffel Towers

“Have you ever wondered why there aren’t two Eiffel Towers?”

I stopped fiddling with my phone and stared over at her, raising an eyebrow. “What?”

She tapped her finger on the glass window of the cab, pointing towards the huge metal structure in the distance. “Two Eiffel Towers.” Turning around, she shot me a thoughtful look. “You know, Paris is the city of love. All those couples climbing up the tower, holding hands, looking out over France; they have each other, but the Eiffel Tower is all alone.”

Leaning back against the seat, I gazed at her in faint amusement. “What made you think of that?”

She turned back to the window and pressed her forehead against it. “I don’t know. Just seems kind of ironic. It supports so many things–people–that have something, and it doesn’t even have something for itself.” She fell into silence, staring out at the tower.

“Well,” I replied slowly, keeping my eyes on her profile. “Maybe its something is the city. Your something doesn’t always have to be the same as you. Maybe its something is the one place that keeps it together: Paris.”

A small smile cracked on her lips, and I could see the solace creep into her eyes. “Yeah,” she answered, finally looking away from the tower. “Maybe.”

~ Hoài-Linh

My Snow Angel

Remember when we were young?

You took me by the hand and lead me to this place.

Our little secret.

In the spring we would sit here surrounded by flowers.

You would tuck one behind my ear as I giggled.

In the summer we would lie side by side and look up at the sky,

Letting the sun dry our wet skin.

When summer turned to autumn, you were full of surprises.

You would hide in the leaf pile and scare me as I called for you.

And then came winter.

You pulled me out of the warmth of my house.

Bringing me here, we fell into the snow.

We laughed until our breaths ran out,

And laid there till the sun began to set.

When you pulled me to my feet,

You pointed to the ground, where our snow angels remained,

And whispered, “I love you,” in my ear.

– kh.

© December 2015 | Sacramento, California