Lucia Zhang 张予菡 writer, florist, philosopher



He who loved me most in a past life reincarnated himself as flowers so I could fall in love over and over and over again.

At every street corner

Abundantly, preciously

Another Poem About You

A mid autumn child

where our similarities start

When you arrived

the leaves were still a pulsating red

endeavouring attachment

still hanging, still hanging

By the time I graced this earth

they’ve lost their battle

branches barren and dry

leaves crisp, brittle.

You leave the sweetest,

most complex aftertaste

still bringing tears to my eyes

upon so simple a thought

A muse years after

I last had your taste

It’s so sweet

Knowing that you love me

Though we don’t need to

Say it to each other, sweet

If my memory hasn’t betrayed me

you taste of an uncertain turmoil

kind, tortured, velvety turmoil

The complexity of an expertly blended scent

slightly psychedelic


Unfavoured by the unversed

Tis not an obsession

I wish it were

how much more poetry I’d write

how many more pages of prose would grace these leather bound pages

my Tumblr drafts.

But obsession it is not

Attachment it is not.

not a fervent battle against the reaper

but dying peacefully

smiling six feet under

alas one that lives is more than all that has passed

So I sit glancing out into the first week of October

Wondering how many more poems

How many more years

How many more Octobers

shall be spent

yearning a lost you.

you introduced me to a side of myself

I’ve only the pleasure of meeting

Through your acquaintance.

Patience, kindness,

Though I sometimes wonder

If I am simply good at

imitating those I admire.

They say people are like passengers on a train

going only one way

sharing segments of your journey with many

Some will stay many stops

Few til you rise

But what are the rules

for stepping off the train

with them?

As Celine did

for Jesse

for Vienna.

“Everyone has a Josh...”

I was once told.

But I’m certain

that’s reserved

only for those in the positives

with Miss Karma.

Have you ever loved so hard

It was equal parts gratitude?

For the love

Too for everything else

It is a feeling rivalled

only by being by their side

I love thee not for thine


for what thy does for me

for how thy makes me feel

I love you

For all that you are

And all that you are not

I love thee for thine totality

for All that you’ve ever been

All that you are

All that you’ll ever be

All that you could ever be.

Every single iteration,

in every single timeline.

But what good is such great love

When you are not here?

Poetry fodder.

I am certain I will love others

I am certain I will love more

of what I am most certain

I will remain loving you.


Food, company, time, memories. Wishing you only best; I shall have nothing less for you, for you whom I love. Happy birthday.

In lieu of “I love you”

Safe travels.

Hope life’s been treating you well.


Have you read Proust?

Have you read Ulysses?

Sweet dreams.


You go be serious, I’ll go be silly.


I like old things

Clothing that’s hung in closets other than mine

Tarnished jewellery

Lovers who know what I’d order off a menu

Friends with whom to remember the past.

I like leather

I like oud

I like top notes that read of an oriental spice rack.

I like high thread count cotton

and silk

and linen and wool

I like ordering San Pellegrino

with a splash of lime and leaves of spearmint

In restaurants on the San Pellegrino

house plants


and high ceilings

I like Vietnamese noodle soups

bun rieu and bun bo hue

tea flavoured desserts

hojicha and jasmine and rose

I like hydrangea

always carrying the most weight

like that one person

in a first year group project

too, ranunculus, lavender

I like flying many hours to hold a lover

I like being held.

I like the colour green.

Mint green, forest green, pistachio.

My grandmother also likes the colour green.

I like wild salmon and halibut and purple rice and a simple salad of olive oil and lemon juice.

I like the plant and veggie balls from IKEA.

I like fall,

walking through its chilliness by myself in new cities of residence.

I like buying unique objects.

hand made ceramics.

Painting nude self portraits

singing in contralto.

dancing to sultry R&B 

shaking my booty

a booty I’ve had to learn to shake,

Learn to love

I like powder days and blue bird days

I really really like Lululemon.

I like perfume, sophisticatedly blended

I like the one named after me, Lucedar Wood.

I like he who blended it.

I love him too. 

I think I’ll like New York.

I think I’ll like Paris.

Even though I liked neither all the times I’ve been.

I really like Norway.

I really miss D.C.

Something draws me back to Hong Kong.

a gorgeous Norwegian lover,

A Rusty bit of heartache.

I like nude beaches

and jumping off masts

skinny dipping in the ocean

and making grown men tap.

I like men who pick up the phone when I call.

I don’t like men who do not respond to my texts.

I like men who give thoughtful gifts.

I like men with long hair and glasses.

I like men whose minds eclipse mine

though I’ve only found one so far.

I like women with short hair

who don’t wear any make up

though a little mascara doesn’t hurt,

you know who you are.

I like volumes and volumes of filled out journals and sketch books

medium nib Kaweco fountain pens

Ink wells

and wax seals.

Hand written letters,

love or otherwise.

Books, especially the ones with pencil marked prices on the top right corner

of the first page

Books that were a little slutty in their lifetimes,

rummaged by many

opened by more.


Of Seneca and Aurelius and others I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know enough of.

Ruby Woo

Caberanet francs and spicy mezcal margaritas.

Especially the one made by Crybaby on Dundas,

A Pina Colada by Mother on Queen.

I like Toronto a lot

Somewhat begrudgingly.

I like being superstitious

Believing that every time I see a Harvard sweater or someone with locs it in fact means that you’ve been thinking of me.

I like celibacy

And sobriety

And being fiercely independent

Assembling IKEA furniture by myself even when the instructions have that X over the cute little figure assembling furniture by itself.

Being soft

when the occasion calls for it.

I like spider guard into lasso

It reminds me of pulling in a lover close with my leg

and jumping guillotines.

Too similar to excited embraces after a long period of apartedness.

I like spending hours in a museum

pondering scenes in paintings

I’m certain I’ve seen in a dream of mine.

Yves Tanguy

and Matisse

and Seurat

and Degas

and Kandinsky

and Monet.

I like mid century modern

And chairs from the Qing dynasty.

The lines of T.S. Elliot and Lu Xun and Ezra Pound

Vivaldi’s four seasons.

I like Peter Cat Recording Co.

and Khruangbin

and Polo and Pan,

the way I discovered them with my good friend Johanne at a Steve Jobs themed party

her dancing to their hypnotic beats in burgundy velvet

in a remodelled row home

in Columbia Heights,


I still like all the friends I’ve lost

Love, even

Lovers still.

I like the way French sounds

And the way I sound in it.

I like frequenting restaurants owned by friends

And knowing that I’ve got at least 6 more loves left in me.

I like Chinatown produce

Sometimes it goes bad right after I buy it

But there’s something real about buying produce slightly past the peak of ripeness

And something wholly unnatural about buying green bananas already in body bags.


My love is slutty

OPEN in neon red and neon blue

My love is easy

Liking 101, Infatuation 114

Prerequisites not required

No caviar, champagne bars, Michelin stars

    Spend a day laying on the grass with her

let her rest her head on your thigh

     She likes being horizontal

My love is naive

Or perhaps just forgetful

Perhaps intentionally disregards the consequences

Perhaps has a positivity bias

Throwing herself

At everyone, for anyone

As if she weren’t the most prized possession

Available to only the highest bidder.

No, she is like tissues,


A mundane offering to anyone and everyone who may need it

For you and you and you and you too.

Because I have plenty

and you have none.

I once loved a man who guarded his love

who doesn’t tell his friends he loves them.

But in my house I love yous dress my every windowsill

Adorn my every granite countertop

Line my every mantlepiece

Is free and abundant and profuse

like oxygen

like fallen leaves in autumn

like sun

in a desert


in the sea

Scarcity breeds value

and my love is worthless

is cheap

is branded green and yellow and Dollarama

is the stuff on the clearance rack of a suburban outlet Ross

is a Walmart love

A Great Value love

A made in China love

Give a little

Get a lot

Great Value, cheap, inferior, generic


Great value for money

Give a little

Get a lot

Maybe love is like company

More the merrier

or perhaps diamonds

precious not because she is rare

but because she’s a controlled substance

Maybe people wouldn’t value love the way they do

if everyone’s love were like mine

Or perhaps simply I am a slut




so my love had not in its destiny to be anything but

But I’d gladly be easy naive and cheap

To live a life filled with love

To rarely not be in love

To see love everywhere

in every corner of everyone

and everything

To love

To be love

To embrace love and be embraced by love

To live in a rose tinted world for most of one’s life

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with made in China

Maybe there are others like me

Who too do not guard their love

Who too offer it like Kleenex.


And maybe when I meet them

We will throw so much Kleenex at each other we become mummies

and never run out

despite all the crying for having found kin.

And we will live in a cushiony white embrace forever

Infinite Kleenex

That Which Cannot be Defined

I no longer chase it

for it is mine

I no longer define it

for it exceeds language

I no longer ponder it

for I have become it

It is no longer a question

for it has answered me

A glimpse at the force

larger than all of the multiverse

That birthed poetry literature and the arts

Perplexed the greatest minds

Millenia upon millennia

Through the rise and fall of empires and bloodlines

that which remains

that puzzles and entices and ruins

Imposters pretending to be

pretending to know

that which cannot be defined

that which is love

I yearn (for you)

I yearn (for you)

to appreciate the smouldering, electric pink edges of undulating clouds

between sunset and nightfall

the same cluster that exists

in every corner of the earth

To attempt but ultimately fail to fathom

the devastating beauty of this realm

For what are clouds

but the former abodes of mermaids and leviathans

reincarnated in its next life

as the first snowfall of 2002

crystals dancing on Crystal’s tongue?

I yearn to be on the perpetual odyssey

of unearthing the whole

and all

of you

the totality of your infinite complexities

To make love

and bare vulnerable

the very essence of each other

For what is love

but the homecoming

at last

of the missing half

Zeus took away from us?

To hold

and caress

to never misplace again

for the rest of eternity

I yearn to have a Sufjan Stevens record playing

while staring through each other’s eyes souls

To see all of nothing

of everything

in the geometry of your iris

To understand

at last

the meaning of infinite

for its marker exists in our interstellar



yearning for each other

For what good is modernity

if not for instantaneous access to art with the ability to transport?

To remind us of dear moments

shuffled away in time

if only through the shade closest

to International Klein Blue

the salvageable notes

of Romance Oubliee

if only in spirit, through memory? 

I yearn to be understood

To be bitten

on unfamiliar places on my body yet recognize

the familiarity of your breath

a scent I’ll know as yours

in every single life time

For what is synchronicity

but a symphony of accidental melodies delivering a most profound harmony?

but starting



post noting

each other’s every other sentence?

I yearn for the dusk of a love

which never sets

cradled between the sun and the moon

which finds its way back to us

time and time




in a thermopolium in Pompeii

in Atlantis with the sirens

in mid century Connecticut

between the Midlevel Elevators

in British Hong Kong


, god


in post apocalyptic Tokyo

in galactic colony 352…

for why do I reach the night so cautiously

if not for the fear of never seeing

you again?

“The number you have reached is not in service”

The night I met my first love

I called whom I thought

was my first love

44 times.

But I couldn’t remember his number

So the calls never went through.


“I’m sad you’re leaving.”

“Don’t worry,

It’ll only be for a little bit

Just as 21 years

And 22 years

Were but only

A little bit.”

Things in your new room

A mattress without a frame

Amazon shipping boxes

books stacked on the floor

a Georgetown student card

two closets

the same IKEA lamp shelf as the one in our old room

medical records faced down (which I peaked at)

(which I wasn’t supposed to peak at)

the wallet I got you that one Christmas you said you’d lost

clothes I recognized

clothes I didn’t recognize

my old sweater that always fit you better than it fit me

no soap, no toilet paper, no (clean) towel

the new laptop you bought after I flung your old one off a balcony

The night I slept over you clung on to me like I was still your family. And we rode an Uber to your work and spoke like we were still parts of each other.