Wednesday, March 16, 2011

somewhere in the middle of march

a month. it's only been a month.

on the subway, there is staring.
whitefaced perfect bangs
pointing the word "really" on repeat.
they discuss her
they decide she is chinese
words whispered lower just in case.

clinging with one hand to an overhead handle
to this hallway of bodies
she finds herself

as a child
there was nowhere to map this in her mind.
a small black dot
between fields semicircling outwards
colored corn or soy or wheat
another creek, another barn.
another sequence of proud white skin
worn knuckles on her neck.

here in a country growing higher by the year,
up instead of out
she is anything but home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

i wandered through dongdaemun, carrying a clock in my bag.

warning: this is not a poem.
this was written in cursive
a pink and white bunny notebook
in a holly's coffee on a cold afternoon.

i wonder why i wanted to come here.

last night, i fell asleep with fingertips touching,
i closed my eyes to picture what i want. it couldn't be so easy.

i spent my life masking my difference, angry at it
but in a crowd of same, i chainsmoke cigarettes
from a yellow box, the word american written blue
struggling to breathe.

an old man shaves at the market counter. my hands freezing at my sides
there are only so many places to cross.

here, when you grow old, the spine L shapes towards the ground.
watching your feet shuffle slowly across white lines.

i never wanted to be american, but here, in my country of origin
i wear it like this is the only coat i own.

a man with a wheelbarrow of pears tilts his two hands end down to rest,
four men cross the street
small sacks of cement on their shoulders. is this how to build a city?
i spend hours wandering, hidden deep between crumbling alleys and back market
dead ends.

i don't want to go home, the fear of sticking to the floor
a wet brown marked tissue.

seoul soon

here, when i jangle a door entered
a small trail of stares follow
close beside.

single syllables monotone the room
i , sift for sounds i know.
..american person.....

here, so many moves of the mouth
to cut the different down.