• Katherine Qiao



Best Friends Don’t Lie

Our hesitations do.

I hope

Let me spell it out,

Carefully, graciously, I promise I’m not being sarcastic for once

You’re my best friend, I love you, let’s hang out

Things To Know Before You Call Me Your Best Friend

My prerequisites

Are that we can talk



Take my tantrums with a pill.

I’m so sorry.

My prerequisites

Are that you don’t

Throw the memories all back at me

One day

Charred and vengeful.

Because I thought

If I broke down in your presence

You’d know

Better than most


Not make me

Thin my lips together in disappointment,

Anger that carries the weight of where tears would’ve happened instead,

And think,



Late Night Conversations

We don’t talk anymore

But I have the book

That we giggled over as small spindly middle schoolers

Hiding under the covers

Phones pressed under layers of blankets

Whispering over how the main character was stupid

And the hot guy sitting in the apple of her eye

Was even more

On my bookshelf still

Even after all these years

If you dial at 2 AM

I’m tired and cranky and maybe being a stupid adult (not) and bitchy and barb-tongued -

But what’s up?

When Things Go Wrong

The periphery talks.

They know.

They take sides.

He’s mad because she ignored him for a day.

He got sensitive again.

When someone calls you their best friend,

You can’t exactly say...no.


Who’s trying harder?

Of Timeless Conversations

We call these conversations gossip

Because they paint winding paths, full of muffled snickers and blood drawn and whispers

From topic to topic to -

HEY wait a minute.


No that’s a bad idea.

...okay let’s do it anyways.


I gotta hear more.

The periphery asks,

Wow, those are huge message bubbles.


I didn’t notice.

Big as the memories

And as long as time spent.

Worth it.

I’ll be the first to ride your motorcycle.

Laugh at my stupidity enough that I’ll laugh with you.

Not at you.

Executive Decisions

Video call while we go about our mundane, probably separate lives still

Tapping these keys and bitching about procrastination and essays and everything in between.

Don’t worry, they’re all just special snowflakes

You wrote something new? YES. Let me read it now


Important question.

What should I eat for dinner?

Dude. Seriously?




May We Become Adults One Day We dream, out loud How we’ll all live together in a big house in Seattle Living out loud, our dreams Unrestricted by the titles scripted in our school certificates Pushed to the limit by my and your encouraging words of “Don’t you dare say, ‘I can’t do it’”

Because you can.

Best Friends Don’t Forget I hope you remember that one time we jumped out of a car into that great big intersection Next to a mall that even my

professors know of, two cities away On a day we were so rebellious and skipped school for the first time in 12 years

Three years later we laugh.

But no one else can. It’s our stupidity to own.

I hope you remember my pain

And yet, still, keep listening

I hope you remember when I came to your dorm at 2 AM, blubbering about shitty people

And my dumb narrative of how equally shitty I am, have been, always will be Shut up. Pat head awkwardly. Now here is where you’re wrong. Point A, point B, point C...which leads back to point A anyways.

Hey! You’re smiling again.

Published In:

  • Blueprint Literary Magazine Issue 7, April 2018