Vietnamese Coffee

Even as the more vivid details of our Vietnam vacation recede into the ever more distant past, something as simple as Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk can bring it all back on occasion. This past weekend, I took just a sip and was reminded of the days at our resort in Phu Quoc, when we developed a brief ritual of taking a seat by the window in the restaurant level of our resort, and starting the day with a small cup and saucer of Vietnamese coffee.

We followed our coffee with a combination of breakfast treats, including a pho bar and bahn mi. Aside from the smorgasboard of Vietnamese delights, there was a large selection of western morning foods as well, though we avoided the boring fare, like cereal. We concluded the daily decadence with an assortment of tropical fruits, my favorite being passion fruit, though the juicy dragon fruit and mango were equally memorable. The juices from these fruits trickled down the back of my hands, dried there, and interacted with the island sun, causing a strange dark patch to appear. I discovered that what I initially thought was a sunspot (expanding at a freakish rate) was actually a temporary tropical fruit scar when I casually consulted with a physician friend via Gmail.

While on the island of Phu Quoc, every morning, we ate and drank slowly in this way, enjoying the contrast between the smoky, dark coffee, and the pellucid, bright island atmosphere, treating ourselves to the ocean view and sea breeze floating in through the gigantic windows like a quiet new dream.

Desert Trip

The moments are slow when daylight rules and regulates with its majestic restraint and royal logic but

They were driving between canyons and she thought the sky was hers

Imagined she was immortal

Dreamed she had him once

Held a piece of his existence closely, secretly

After traffic had dulled the senses she found her body blissfully floating in a courtyard pool in the middle of the desert while her heart sank to the bottom like lead and when he reached for her hand there was a terrible haze of fragmentation

And she thought

If only this was the expected collapse into a high-density oblivion like before stars explode, a symphony of destruction, and I would still have you and you me and I could catch your scattered pieces of celestial ash in cupped palms grateful that you have been constant through my graceless passage into years



Alcohol II

Winter broke her like a disease.

That night, someone confessed to wanting to be an actress and fucking minors. Does it make you feel younger? She asked. Tonight, our wrinkles will be deferred by cheap whiskey, this magic bottle of fluid gold. They wasted time because they did not know.

There was something romantic in her mythologic desperation, the sword in her body and her premeditated funeral pyre but the modern parallel was wrong boys wrong times, pathetic and humiliating mistakes. She fell to the waves of his hair breaking on her fingertips and became perpetually afraid and thought that when her bones had disintegrated into the earth he will have died in her thoughts an infinite number of times.

They yelled at each other in the hall and she said it would be his loss. Almost asleep, he murmured that he was up against a wall and had nothing to lose. She tapped on his chest, demanded to know what he meant but he was silent.

Still,the sunshine liquids diluted to a romantic translucence made waves in the head, the concrete pond became an ocean, and in the fluidity of night they rolled heads and senses and fell unconscious together, pleased with oblivion, pleased with each other, and awoke to monotony disguised as something novel. She dreamed she was 14, fearing her petals would be cruelly torn off.

A Beer Haiku

I entered an Instagram contest for a beer haiku:

I may be pregnant
But will dream of local brews
Until I give birth


Exasperated, she is baffled

The earth keeps spinning

Even as she wanes and unravels, shriveling in her transient prison

She fears in time she will not remember if he was hers or

If she created this love in her sleep, out of lonely lunacy

The years promise to bleed and dissolve them with a flash of betrayal

When she sees him again, he will have a another reality

And she may be only a strange shadow to him

Merely a melancholy imprint, a colorless melody from a previous life

So she leans into his ear to whisper

When the world has ended, just know that I was here

Gathering yellow roses for you

Humming songs for our afterlife

I existed beneath the ash and sand and stone

I was lying here in my pink bed writing love letters to you, way above in the clouds.