The Chinese word kai xin, meaning happy, literally translates to open heart.
Like a piece of tape left face up, collecting dust and crumbs,
like an unwrapped bag of chips that’s gone soft.
This time last year two of my friends dropped out of school.
No one really knows how pungent someone else’s dirty laundry is.
It all worked out though.
Some industrial sized bleach that naturally shoots off in the summer
and everything is fine.
Maybe I’ll dip my hands in it, I already have,
whereas before a single drop from the rice paddle bucket would throw my hands into boiling soap.
Not anymore, I don’t think.
I don’t have to calculate my spendings to know that most of my money
last spring went towards hand soap, body wash, shampoo, dish soap
and now most of it goes towards food, towards going out, towards seeing people.
I’LL JUST PAY FOR IT, it’s my philosophy towards everything.
The Chinese phrase for taking responsibility literally translates to paying responsibility.
Every time I wake up late, every time I forget my wallet,
every time I sleep with someone without protection
it shuts one more lock.
Pay more responsibility my mother says when I forget to make my bed.
Take more responsibility my friend says to me after I get there late.
All I can say is, geez, you’re absolutely right,
like a vat of boiling agains.
It’s as if one thing means a whole thing, but I won’t get into that.
It’d be like treating heart disease with a massage.
April is the cruelest month,
but April showers bring May flowers,
always sprouting in the shape of keys small enough to fit into a standstill fist.