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

XXIII. 2 Poor Kids


He picks her up in a Benz,

But my lover comes by himself and a dozen roses.

He probably stole them.

He’s got a smudge of mud on his eye

Here to make me break into a smile,

‘Cause he drives them mad.

Dollar signs all around us,

We sneak onto the city bus.

Too blinded by what we have

To notice your mean old laughs.

And we’re just two poor kids from a really rich city,

What a pity.

‘Cause we’ve got a love story unlike the rest,

No fancy suit and no fancy dress,

 Just us.

– “2 Poor Kids” by Ruth B.

39. Marrying Young


I love the idea. I love the idea of meeting someone at the age of eighteen, falling in love, and staying with them for the rest of my life. I love the idea of growing old together with the person I grew into adulthood with and confusedly working through all the horrible adulty responsibilities with them by my side. I love the idea of spending over fifty years with my first love. I love the idea…for someone else.

I’ve had quite a few friends get engaged or married over the past year. Most recently, one of my oldest friends got engaged at the ripe young age of eighteen. Young love is a crazy beautiful thing, and I think it’s amazing when young couples decide to make the lifetime commitment before they even hit twenty. I think it’s beautiful that they’ve found someone they’re willing to commit to before they can even legally drink. (Sober weddings, anyone?) I think it’s just an amazing thing…for someone else.

I could never see myself in a young marriage. The fact that I’m extremely single aside, I could never envision myself as a wife anywhere in the near future. I have so many dreams and aspirations for my life: I want to travel. Everywhere. I want to see the world, the people in the world, the beauty of the world. I want to experience every single culture there is. I want to have a career, I want to teach overseas, I want to move from place to place and live out of a single suitcase…

I don’t know how my life will unfold, but I do know that whenever I imagine my future…I’m alone. It sounds dismal, but I just can’t see a husband as a part of my young life. Maybe it’s because I have so much I want to do jammed packed into such a short time, or maybe it’s because I know I won’t have my life nearly sorted out enough for a long time to take on the responsibility of another person. I don’t know.

I know for some people, marriage and a family is the end goal, and the sooner they can make that happen, the better. But for me, marriage and a family is not the end goal. At this moment in my life, I know I could die single with no children and be completely at peace. My feelings may change in time, and if they do, so be it. But I’m not in control of my fate.

All I know is I love the idea of marrying young, but I don’t want it for myself.

~ Hoài-Linh

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