More Poetry from South Korea

breath on steel
Photo By: Helen Cramer

4/17/16        Breath on Steel

I pulled the knife out.

Panic, Confusion, Anger

spilling from the gaping

hole that he insisted he

didn’t stab into me.

A sigh brushed my lips

fogging the metal of the

blade. He laid a kiss across

the pooling wound and for

but a moment I was healed.




4/18/16                 The Deadly Seven

It’s like polishing a trophy till cracking.

It’s like craving when their eyes meet.

It’s like watching the flames lick away.

It’s like whole roasted pigs dripping juices.

It’s like fingers slipping down your neck.

It’s like using your shadow for time.

It’s like swallowing gold till turning black.




4/19/16                 Texting

I watched the three dots

Slow like ripples cast by stone.

But what would it say?


snow white


4/20/16                 Snow White

Yesterday the blue sky cracked through the ever present gloom

I didn’t know it was possible for my skin to pale even further.

But the exile from the sun, the fog hanging close on the mountains

has turned me into some standard of beauty that the children try

to rub the tan from their arms as they hold them against mine.


4/21/16                 영어 선생님

“Teacher, come!” they shout

Small smiling faces,

hands tugging at my wrists

Their eyes filled with wonder

words spilling from their mouths

Anything to communicate

to describe, to share this beautiful place with me.

Language comes easy to children,

because they haven’t lost the pulsing need to connect.


4/22/16                 Once Upon a Time

List it out, scribble it into bullet points

Place ticks next to the flutters in your heart.

Let’s stretch them on a chart, mark the axis

Figure out the points where it went wrong

When you scratch out their faces in your memory

And plot your heartbreak as experiences and facts

Then search where things synch perfectly, when

those smiles and those moments were all you needed.

Find the point where they meet, for each one

for each face, for each set of memories, for each time

it didn’t work out. Where’s the pattern, where’s the tell?

Write your thesis, quote your sources, redraft and revise.

Maybe then, you can write your happy ending.

Photo By: Brendan Devlin


4/23/16                 Different Shores

The Pacific Ocean smelt different than the Atlantic.

But still that wafting scent soothed my insides.

The waves like fingers, brushing against the shore.

Eyes scanning the damp sand for intact shells.

A slice of home and comfort in a foreign land.




language barrier
Photo By: Roi Mojado

4/24/16                 Language Barrier

We sat on either side of the curtain.

It rippled gently between us, pulled by

the wind that wished to carry our words.

But speaking through it, intentions got stuck.

The fabric caught the truth, and filtered out

heartless sounds that were first meant to bring

comfort. But now stung sharply against the skin

It’s hard to be in love through blinds.



4/25/16                          An Open Letter

I sometimes wonder how you are. If you still dance the same way, with careless abandon. If you still love the same way as well. Everything you did was with abandon. You were honest, or at least you thought you were. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest when you can’t face your own truth. But I guess neither could I. I felt responsible for you, as if your actions reflected on me. I thought it was to keep you safe, and it was a part of it, but I was also afraid of being judged. I had an idea of what my life was supposed to be, and you were in stark contrast to it. But I hope you’re well. I hope you have found your truth. It doesn’t make me seethe to think of you anymore. But I don’t want you to come back, I don’t want to reopen the wounds that took so long to heal. I just wish you well from a far. Love, your ex best friend.


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