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

Her Beelzebub


Her mother sensed the evil

When she found black stains on white sheets.

Torn fabric and charred wicker

Sent infant cries from the cradle.

A string of coos hushed the child,

But unchecked went streaks of red in brown irises.


A depraved soul not yet sixteen

Sat atop frozen roof tiles,

As her mother lamented friends

Sent to push her over the edge.

Burning lungs reflected a life turned left,

And a shooting star sprinkled ash on coarse skin.


She turned twenty-four in a black alley

With blood on her hands.

Jagged metal pierced skin

Before disappearing into cold flesh.

Her mother’s sobs rang in her memory

When the steaming vent released a cackle.


Her death fell behind metal bars,

Fluorescent lights turning pale skin gray.

Red roses turned black

On a shattered gravestone.

Tears dripped from her mother’s cheeks,

For she knew the path below the grave,


And Beelzebub welcomed his child to hell

As she clawed her skin raw.

– kh.

© February 2017 | Placer County, California

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