“Valentine,” by Marina Chen
February 4, 2020
there is a red-quilted heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting on my bedside and a pink envelope with my name on it written in a script that speaks secrets I will never spill even if the time comes that the script is all I have left to remember
rain on a green ice cream cone the night I came to LA not poetically just simple rain I found no inspiration in that city as an artist I must say I was disappointed I guess when you have left your rose-tinted lenses back home it is hard to find love elsewhere
in broad wet midmorning a yellow tarp sold rose bouquets for cheap we deliver I remember thinking darling that if I had mailed one to you the wilted blooms would after finding themselves miles from home far after the appropriate holiday had passed not say enough
rain in LA is different it grows a green destined to burn darling do you think there is a tree that has never seen fire darling I stood to your left underneath the sidewalk and let the Earth drip unto me so that it would not unto you water met my scalp with a dingy platter on my dark shampooed strands
it was a song of craving I pressed replay
Marina Chen is a 2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate Finalist. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Women You Need to Know (WYNK) event with Carmen Maria Machado at Town Hall Seattle on January 24, 2020.