help us define
the way sea turns into sky
the way left becomes right
the way day rises from night.

pin us down to this earth.
Otherwise we would have left.
I would have followed your footsteps
walking toward infinity.

You and I,
we live in words
we dance through words
we make love with words
we are words.

the invention of the lonely
the ultimate intimacy
the bridge between you and me
the child between you and me.

we create words
we refine words
we play with words
we become words.

And so Our Love
is eternal
behind these words.


An Evening By The Sea

we walked toward the beginning of the sea, hand in hand,
you told me this was where you always took her to,
and she always fell in love with the sunset.

I dipped my toes into the cold water. It tingled like salt
on the tip of my tongue. I pressed my feet down and the sea monster
took a firm grip around my ankle. My laughter
filled the air, and your sugary scent from behind me
floated down my throat. Your lips
frantically searched for mine, my arm
pulled down your head, and we
kissed, and we kissed.
I kept
calling your name, and you mine,
and we lost balance and fell down on the
tide. For a moment, I thought
the ocean
could have taken us away
on a free ride.
Wouldn’t that be good?

But you were laughing, lifting me up,
walking me back to the sand
with your endless kisses, and your arms
around my waist. We lied down together,
smiled constantly, whispered silly things,
then again we locked lips as the waves sang louder,
chasing seagulls away, so they would not bother us.
Under the light wind and the sun we made love
right by the sea, and under the sky so blue.
You sank deeper into me before
rising back, and I rose higher above you
before sinking in, in perfect harmony,
like those waves luring in the sea.

And I asked us to leave
right before sunset
though I always wanted to see it.

You were smiling as we drove away,
I was looking out the window,
and suddenly tasting salty water
falling down on my lips.

Letter from a Masochist

The Original Version

I cannot stop
wondering what this is,
what it means,
where it might take us.

You said,
“Love the question, accept the answer.
The only truth is the lesson,
and the lesson is there is no truth.
You have to come to accept ambiguity
rather than expect definiteness.”

To own you is to never have you.
To have you is to never own you.
I have to learn how to let go.
Freedom in love is so goddamn hard.

I am thirsty for possession,
I want to keep you away from this world,
I want to eat up each of your word,
leaving your novels incomplete,
unknown to the public’s hungry eyes.
But I cannot.

For one day the world will expose you,
the chaos of fame will seep into your skin,
the others’ eery obsession will surround your head,
and I will fade.
It is with you
that I do not have a name.

From others I can get everything
but the one thing
that only you have.

And so I have come to accept
and to look forward to
a lifetime of ambiguity
with you.

The Translation

You fucked with my head, with my heart.
You know that you can just let me go and do whatever the fuck I want,
because I will always come back.
I fucking hate what you have done to me, what I have done to myself
I have fallen so fucking deep in this shit with you.
My god I fucking love you, I am so fucking in love with you,
I love you so goddamn much it fucking hurts.
But seriously, don’t stop.
Be with me, take away my name,
consume me all.

Agent of Anger

tok, tok,
every drop,
shining red
our wine
to the floor.

skin heat
electric hair
ardent smell
my palms
dripping sweat

a moment ago
between me.
my mind was
taken away.
to where
cannot reach. it was
mine alone.
yes, you
are not
in it
any more.

now, go,
get the
out of

Parallel Lines

You and I are two parallel lines.
Practically speaking, we can never meet.
Theoretically, we do at infinity.

Where is infinity?
How do you get there?
How can you stay there?

My love,
my infinity is where the heart is
where no one can take things away from us.

We cannot reach within our own hearts.
We only know they beat inside us
while belong to somebody else.

Mine is yours,
and so I will not lose it.
You will never lose it.

If one day yours, too, became mine,
we would no longer be parallel lines.

Off Balance

He quickly forgot to hold her hands the way she loved it.
Who remembers those things after having stained the sheets?

The pain keeps turning her like a leaf in the wind
not seeing where it comes from,
or where it will go, for all it knows,
is being swirled away in a state of chaos.

Her sense of right and wrong was dislocated,
as she keeps thinking back of how good things feel,
forgetting that one is not supposed to cling onto memories
of sensations. They delude you, make you ignore,
turn you away from seeing
where exactly it hurts.

She resists from calling him to not appear
desperate. Needy. Clingy. Anxious.
He is given more freedom than he needs,
which slightly surprises him.
Perhaps she does not care either.

Their twisted sense of communications
has brought the relationship
to where two people are not meant to be.
It is where the sex is incredulously fantastic,
while the non-sex is incredibly empty.

Lover’s Questions

Why have our lips been cold,
and kisses taste like stale coke?

Why has our skin not changed,
but the touch has got so rough?

Why are our eyes the same,
but the irides have turned dark?

Why do we stop playing games,
holding hands, walking in the park?

Why are our sweet letters gone,
and spoken words have become rare?

Why do you still stay with me,
when you want to be elsewhere?

Why can’t we fall out of love
the way that we fell in?

The silence hanging above
put us in love’s coffin.

I wish you would tell me
about someone you met.

Things you once did for me,
now make her cheeks turn red.


when I woke up this morning,
you had been half way there on the train
away from this
away from me.

you would have been writing,
thinking, contemplating, arguing.
pages would be filled up,
like your heart, and I
would keep wondering
what you wrote.

I have nothing to hold on to
but your words, and letters
you sent me. I read them,
had every word memorized,
learned the rhythm and tone,
so I could hear your voice.

I find the deepest pain and the brightest joy
in your creations.
I long to know what you see with your eyes,
how you think with your mind,
how you make love with your body,
how you live in the world with your ego.

I would have left my world for ours,
in a heartbeat. I recognized you
the first time we met. Why can’t we
run after our desires, live a life
we truly like, have our dreams
completely realized?

Why can’t we become
whom we truly are?
You are what I want,
I am what you want,
why in the world
can’t we be together?

I want to fall in love, stay in love, die in love,
to have you here right by me,
to feel you from inside me.
And that smile on your face
and this smile on mine
will forever shine.

Một phần trăm trước khi tuyệt vọng/One percent prior to despair


Một phần trăm trước khi tuyệt vọng

những tối như tối nay tôi không thể ở trong căn phòng mình, phải tìm cớ ra ngoài.
em gái viết bảo đau đầu. ghét khoảng thời gian này trong ngày. có cảm giác muốn chết.
tôi cũng có cảm giác ấy. độ bốn đến sáu giờ chiều. những ngày này, trời mau buông tối.
một người nói, bạn đừng đến thành phố của tôi những ngày này, nỗi niềm tê tái của bầu trời khiến người ta u buồn.
tôi muốn nói, thành phố của bạn có não nề bằng thành phố của tôi?
tôi luôn rảo bước nhanh, đôi lúc thoáng sợ những người xung quanh mình.
những ánh nhìn có màu xám, nặng trĩu, như thực tại giữa tôi và họ. khoảng cách giữa chúng tôi.
trái tim của chúng tôi dường như không có nét gì giống nhau.
tôi thủy chung cùng một ai đó, tình cảm dành riêng cho anh, không muốn nhìn ai khác, không muốn nghĩ về ai khác.
nhưng không yêu anh.
không thoải mái trải lòng cùng anh. cũng không thật tin anh.
từ khi mới thở, vốn không thể tin tưởng người khác hoàn toàn, nhiều lắm đâu chừng chín chín phần trăm.
vì một phần trăm đó, chưa bao giờ tôi yêu được một người.
vừa thoáng phải lòng đã thấy mình phản bội.
vì một phần trăm.
tôi gặp một người bạn, cười nói và ăn tối.
trước khi gọi món đã hình dung ra mùi vị của món ấy trong vòm miệng.
bất giác chỉ muốn nhắm mắt lại
quên đi tất cả những điều này.
có thể, sau sáu giờ tối,
khi bóng đêm tràn khắp,
tôi sẽ vui lên một chút.
góp nhặt một chút hạnh phúc, một chút hy vọng,
không cần những gì quá lớn lao,
đưa tôi từ giây này sang giây tiếp theo bình an.
vì một chút những thứ không rõ tên,
vì một phần trăm chưa thể nào trao gửi,
tôi đã cứu mình khỏi rất nhiều lần
trước những bánh xe di chuyển quá nhanh.
trước mỗi ngày trôi qua quá nhanh.
chỉ có cơn tuyệt vọng của tôi,
thật chậm


I wrote this piece in Vietnamese then translated to English myself. Sometimes I do it the other way around – write in English then translate to Vietnamese. This process is always challenging because of the differences between both languages, yet it mesmerizes me since I love them both.

One percent prior to despair

during nights like tonight I cannot stay at my place, must find an excuse to go out.
little sister wrote about her headache. hated this time of the day. felt like she wanted to die.
I have that feeling too. around four to six p.m. these days, the night comes quickly.
one friend said, ‘do not come to my city these days, the grieving sadness of the sky makes people depressed.
I wanted to say, ‘would your city be more melancholic than mine?’
I always pick up my walking steps, sometimes slightly scared of the people around.
the glances colored grey, oppressed, like the reality between them and me. the distance between us.
our hearts do not seem to bear any resemblance.
I am loyal to someone, devote my admiration to only him, do not want to look at anybody else, do not want to think of anyone else.
yet do not love him.
do not feel comfortable unfolding my heart to him. do not really trust him.
since my first breath, I cannot fully trust others, perhaps as much as ninety-nine percent.
due to the remaining one percent, never have I ever been able to love a person.
the first glimpse of love already comes with the guilt of betrayal.
because of one percent.
I meet a friend, laugh, talk, and have dinner.
before ordering food I already imagine its flavor in my mouth.
suddenly just want to close my eyes
forget about all of this.
perhaps, after six p.m.,
when darkness emerges,
I will be slightly more cheerful.
collect some happiness, some hope,
no need for anything extravagant,
bringing me from one moment to the next safely.
because of a little of the unnamed things,
because of one percent that has not been given,
I have many times saved myself from
the wheels that move so fast.
the every day that passes by so fast.
only my despair,
so slow