Dear God, I hear you knocking

Three Poems by Lydia Ong

Lydia Ong is an aspiring psychologist, cat lover, and boba connoisseur.
  • Lydia Ong is an aspiring psychologist, cat lover, and boba connoisseur.


  • I learned my A-B-C’s at the ripe age of three
  • Letters built words and words breathed life
  • At ten I learned A’s got love from my mother —
  • B’s lowered eyes, C’s a yelling beast
  • At twelve I learned C’s were for sexy girls —
  • B’s a decent grower, A’s a sunken nobody
  • I was as flat in the chest as I was in my face that was
  • Told looked like it had been smacked by the lid
  • Of a trash can. Trash, that must’ve seeped into my
  • Skin, yellowed like the discarded banana peel but as white on the inside as
  • my grandpa said I was
  • Trash
  • That couldn’t be loved for my body nor my intelligence — or
  • Lack thereof that doesn’t deserve love these
  • Letters built up words that tore down my soul
  • Said you’re so stupid
  • you’re not hot
  • you’re unlovable
  • Labeled me an ‘A’ here, a ‘C’ there
  • No one told me at three these letters would destroy me
  • But I stand here unlearning what I learned these
  • letters I craft together give me new identity for
  • I am smart
  • I am more than my body
  • I am loved
  • I am a builder of letters

Daddy Gets Mad When You Question Privilege

  • I wonder who it was who taught me to not love
  • Eyes that look like mine, to not
  • Walk next to shoulders in my same stratosphere, to not
  • Caress a body with a story. To not
  • Reproduce with skin painted darker than my privilege.

Dear God, on My Birthday

  • Dear God,
  • I hear you knocking. The walls are thin but I like to pretend they’re thick or I’m deaf. But the truth is the walls are thin and you can hear the bed squeaking. The frame is fragile like my emotional health, wavering like my heart posture. This house was built for two and I don’t know where you fit in. I’d let you eat cookies in the kitchen and take a piss in the bathroom but I know that’s not what you came here to do. You are not a guest in my life. You are my everything but I can’t give you everything. I can give you your bed but please don’t take mine. I guess that means you really aren’t my everything. You are my Savior but stubbornness and selfish desires are my Lords. And I guess that leaves me human.

Lydia Ong is an aspiring psychologist, cat lover, and boba connoisseur. She studies psychology, English, and education at Chapman University in Orange County.

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