Soft twilight of 24/7
Coffee scented spot
Waiting forever in two minutes he
Walks in smiling
Brief, familiar hug
Kind eyes, serious face, quick smile, smooth skin, taut muscle
Summary of a glance.

Words lost in the din around us
Laughter and loud conversation
Knives on plates, glass to floor, wine to cup
Scents, incensed, swirling
Dance of the servers between tables

My ears strain to the quiet passionate description
Of worlds seen through his eyes
Told through a quiet husky voice
Moments of meditation gone awry, with the bestowing of blessings
The peacefulness of daydreaming over coffee

And hints of pain under the surface
Life longings, and love
The summary of the complexity of a simple life
Lived to the fullest.

In the middle of a busy room
Quietly alone
A million questions left to ask,

Perhaps, again?

Sang Yong Sighs

Sang Yong sighs

His calm visage leaning to a frown

Pen marking the page of a word unknown

A phrase devoid of context.

Twenty-five years part of one world

Twenty-five years part of another

And while he has spent years here struggling to learn

The base culture beyond the vocabulary,

his peaceful rate of speech

Carefully conceals

His self-perceived


Word choice.


Turn then

Back towards

Half remembered

Childhood memories

Family traditions.

But while his memories are fragments of time sealed in amber

The world has continued to move

Culture evolves and reference points

Are fewer and further between

He is a time traveler drifting between worlds

Seeking to understand an unlived past in both world’s presents

A visitor in homeland and chosen land both.


Sang Yong sighs.


I’m jealous of the ant

Crawled up from the grass where we are laying

In a public park where we are having a private moment

Dogs racing down the hill to catch thrown balls and


Near to us smiling as only dogs can

No judgment as I lie back his arm beneath my neck

Summer sweat slicking skin

Scenting sweet musk, his smile

Stirring my thoughts, my heart, and lower

My eyes spy the ant moving along his skin and along each hair of his leg

Moving determinedly along the length of him

Along muscle lines beneath I wish to touch too


The first quiet alarm of the morning

Sings quiet warning before being


You sleepily cuddle up against me

In the last ten minutes before we must


“Itoshi teru” you murmur, breath

Slowing to sleep as I reply “love

You too”

Jun’s Poem

分かってるかな? 分かって欲しい。

貴方の写真を見る度に貴方のこと思い出し、そして 僕は何時の間にか幸せになってます。



I love you Rob


Do you understand? I want you to understand.

I like you more than you think.

I love you.

Do you understand such mind of me?

Every time I see your picture I remember you and I will be happy for a while.

You always make me laugh.

I’m happy.

I want to get over it.

I can’t get over it

Let’s get over with me, language and cultural differences, if you like each other, you can do it.

If you are not a lie I believe in you and I would like to go anywhere with two people.

I can go.

I want to believe in you.

I believe.



I wonder if it is his broken and bound arm

Or the ephemerality of his being,

In this darkened bar of interchangeable faces

Which makes him seem vulnerable

Amid those playing at being men’s men

–coarse jokes, soured draught, sexual violence–

He speaks with a poet’s passion

Soft strong words a summer zephyr

Through haze of rude raucous laughter

Shy pride softens sad brow

Evanescent smiles

A taper glowing brighter

Against the darkened banality

Had You Let Me Love You

Had you let me love you
I would’ve been home by now,
Cooking you something light and quick
Laughing on something we had seen in passing

Oyster sauce, my bad chopstick technique
Crumb at your lip, tongue tip
Sweet corn, plum sauce, oyster dip

What might have we seen,
Walking dogs, talking
Laughter on trails, squirrels stalking
Misspoken words, gentle mocking

And laughing.
Or crying.
Or sharing.

Had you let me love you
Words said privately
Upon my pillow,
Heart sworn promises
Skin to skin
Lip to lip
Secrets shared
Personal truth

Had you let me love you



The smile in the photograph promises mischief and fun. The smile goes right to his eyes and beyond.

I have looked at that photo on and off, but today I feel brave and say hello. There are messages, some strangely worded, but with a sense of adventure.

“Do you want to meet?”


“I don’t speak English.”

What the hell, neither can most of the guys on this app, their short-form words, codes, statistics. Pretty pictures made less by lack of soul. No message, other than physical.

My heart sings at the site of you smiling at me. Your English is better than you know: “I am AN accountant.”

Is this not how the world should be? People learning about each other. Learning to communicate. Laughing.  Encouraging each other.

If you and I ruled the world, it would be a different place. Afternoons of laughter and nights full of lullabies.