On April 19, 2020, a friend of mine, a young visual artist and writer, committed suicide and passed away. She’s been suffering from severe bipolar disorder before she decided to take her life.

my dear
you are safe
you are safe
so you can be anything:
mythical pine forests
whispering lakes
or even the sun rises
and sets in circles
you name it
because you are
but finer and enough
now there’d be no need for
twice burnt cannabis
scrolling in hand-torn
parchment paper on
your dry lips because
you are found
you are found under the
monsoon rain of Saigon
through the small window
of your studio where
white sunrays leaking
from your hair
bare and divine
falling back to earth now
you can be anything
anything but the “crazy girl”
whose tangerine shadows
are bright and she is
dancing herself to sleep
on a friday evening
at 10 o’clock
and still hanging
on my bedroom’s wall
smelling like chips
and hot seafood tacos
but you are the jarred ashes
but you are safe
you are safe
because worse than
a nasty taco
is to stay unknown where
you left and that being
born into this world
is to live you best
before you leave
before you leave
for good.


to his counselor,
he made
a long list
of symptoms:
back pain,
local pain,
loss of appetite,
loss of concentration,
loss of interest,
language distortion —
the computer screen;
& she later
called them dukkha
for the sake
of censorship;
he went on:
nothing has changed
since I’m back
she would be
chanting the Vietnamese
transcribed version
of Jewel Sutras
every night,
eyes closed,
a word of it;
had long
karaoke hours
once a week,
singing the same
repeated tunes,
with max volume
& doubled echoes —
exactly the way
her daunting
bouncing against
his sickened head;
the Buddha
would bless
all of us

her belief was
by placing Him
on the altar,
next to her
dead grandpa
& the late
with non-
toxic incenses
& phonetic
every night;
without knowing
none of us
is yet
near nirvana
& neither was
close enough
for her
to understand
changes have
various meanings,
so she ended up
(his) the suffering
she persisted
with firm
to rather have
the Buddha
bless the shit
out of (him) us
even though
a Buddhist would
claim such thing
as theoretically incorrect
& none of us
was even
an inch
close up
to enlightenment.