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Jenny Lu



Switzerland, 2015


Last summer,

the first night I arrived,

you were anxious.

In the twilight hours

we propped our feet up on the balcony

and the awkwardness adhered to the

space between us like super glue to- well, anything.

When I fixed my glaze upon the vast sky,

splattered with stars that ran behind the snow capped alps

and felt little glances sneak up and lock onto my skin,

I swore I knew.

And when you told me that you thought I was beautiful,

words that reeked of rehearsal and courage,

I knew.

You reserved this summer for me

and I cursed the stars for illuminating my smile.

Those months overflowed

with hitting and biting,

insults baked with love

and immaturity.

You got to know my composite of anger and arrogance,


brave and strong.

I got to know the skinny love you,

the you that always beat me in 5 in a row tic-tac-toe.

We left everything else behind the language barrier.

That summer was sealed with a 7am kiss

wrapped in a sunrise envelope.

That morning I watched you pass through security

and my heart held together long enough

to be shattered in the shower an hour later.

I knew.

All my summers would be for you.

But this year,

there is no more hitting.

The only thing I bite is my lip

when I think about what has been

whited out by the year in between.

The days left are countable now

and the question marks that hang over our heads

curve and lead to points that will not be made.



a line, (a short blue one)




Tell me how we should learn

and grow from mistakes

when all you show us are

Your rules.

Your walls.


Thats not tough love.

Thats not even love.

Its what you want.

Not what we need.


Let me tell you.

You can always build more walls

and shield us from everything thats not you.

But one day, we will outgrow them.

And when we do,

we will show you that we are birds.

It does not matter how long we have been kept.

It does not matter how strong your gravity is.

We were always meant to fly.


The world is full of storms,

but let us fly anyway.

No matter the wreckage,

we will spread our wings.

And sometimes, they will knock us down.

But nothing hurts more than our fragile bones

against your walls,

aching to be freed.


I hope you realize this.

And I hope you realize it soon.

Because when it is too late,

You will break down the walls that youve built between us,

and you will see someone that you did not raise.

They will spread their wings

And fly far away from all the brick that youve showed them.

When it is too late,

Youll finally remove the cataracts from your eyes

and see that youve lost us years ago

while you were blinded by your own love.

By the way you held on.

The first rule of parenting is to let.

Let them be wrong.

And let them make mistakes

before they let go of you.


The minute your child was born,

you proudly call yourselves mothers,



And spend your childs youth not knowing

how to be a parent.



a line, (a short blue one)


Muddy Socks


When the clouds gather in front of the sun to

soften the blows of the harsh rays on my skin,

and the thunder rumbles in the dense skies,

the lightning strikes will echo from the heavens to

the grounds,

and what can I do except take my feet out from my

muddy shoes and muddy socks and stand in the rain

and let the water press my shirt onto me,

hoping that it will wash away everything I want

it to,

but knowing that some things can never be drowned,

the raindrops only reminding me of the tears

that should be shed for them.

Or perhaps when the clouds dissipate into the light blue

sky we know so well,

the sun will remind us of the joy we should be feeling

and the smiles of others who aren’t us.

Emotions are complicated

and pain knows no weather, a blind

force, ignorant of any forecast or hour,

and it will always find a path into our red

plastic cups and our love and the delicacies

we have after dinner.

And it’s easy to take away that if we slit our eyes and stay

just as blind as pain,

we can be just as powerful and indifferent as it. But the

feelings and the truth and


make the agonies a little less,

weather reports a little more dull,

and our time here worthwhile of the sting.

And so really,

we win.



a line, (a short blue one)


Au Revoir


Heres to all the times Ive turned on my heels and walked away.


To all the times Ive stayed silent.

To all the missed embraces,

and the lost kisses.


To all the times Ive waited until the flight to cry,

and all the words that failed me.


Here is to later.

Here is to next summer.

Here is to taking care of yourself.

to love,

and missing you.


For the tears, shamelessly,

And lipstick on cheeks.

Here is for every single time:





I’ll see you.

Take care of yourself.

There will be next year.

There will be next summer.

I promise Ill be back soon.


I’ll miss you.

I love you.






a line, (a short blue one)


The Silver Lining


First love.

The hardest love.

The love I wanted

to be our last.

We begged for freedom

but instead took a shortcut

to complication.

So we ended the way we started:



a text.

And that day,

when we can greet like old friends,

long after time has numbed the pain,

I will remember the silver lining.



a line, (a blue one)


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