Friday, April 29, 2011

the water monitor

my skin sewn myth of mother
bowlegged and shrugging age
silent cries through two teeth.

small gasps of saliva swim stain
thick flesh colored cream on the cheeks.

i am her rib built body grown up foreign
she clutches me by the wrist
and by her
this once
i am raised.

she is my mother
a cellophane bag of want
wrapped around my chest.

strangers stand between
shuttling language from the downturned
corners of her mouth.
twenty five years of ready to say something first
and here she is heavy
on my shoulder small.
head nodding
i can only smile.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

not like that, like this

( 1985 )

somewhere over the pacific
between incheon and jfk
i inhaled thin white wisps of exhaust
deep enough to stain.

( 20 11 )

the flesh rotted
to bleached bones
i splash through a shallow puddle of yellow.

here, spring falls at an alarming rate
my arms cross over an empty network of face
feigning sorry for speech
china blows in
exact fortunes of the weather.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

this language is futile.

one ( ha na )

i shut in.
the door locks left.

push the handled dark glass
on the fifth floor.
first right, remove your shoes
sharp left, reapply the shoes.

around the corner
in the first door
the key left then right, wait for the cockroach
to return to his peeled back paper room.
wait, for the smell of black mold
the close walls
to press you in, a deep swallow of home.

two ( dul )

everything here is funny.
i burst out
high collar strutting

three ( set )

When we are in love, we love the grass
and the barns, and the lightpoles and the small mainstreams
abandoned all night. -Robert Bly

since you, i am two doors slammed and deadbolted.

i excerpt the hours
my swollen eyed night rise of voice
the last time i threw myself
long breaths in your flannel shoulder,
the smooth brown stretch of your neck.

you held me away
arm's length and then a block, a city
i placed an ocean between us, the
won't look back entry point of our shared home
your eyes settling everywhere but on mine
and the distance,
my mouth hinging down on the words i flew at you

i admit
half of us wrong

dark shut into this short hallway of home and two
suitcase-shaped boxes of self
i press my hand between my thighs
fingering your teethshaped scars
in my shoulder

i breathe aloud.

i forward my interest towards you
blue smears of your face find their way to me
alone in a city of everyone but you.

and you have stopped listening
but i look for you still
your absence pulling down on the
sound of my single footsteps

Saturday, April 16, 2011

last night

alone and sure
i give in
white salt quarter moons

my eyes
slick and red
like you used to make them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

in the dream

we are two small girls
quick feet on a square of purple plush.

on the other side of the doorknob, hands demand our necks
and there is panic
her red mouth pressing out a scream.

i flutter behind plastic-hangered dresses bought on sale.
we climb each other's knees
as if in a box shaped closet
there is somewhere to reach.

every time, an escape appears
a dark tube in the wall
our small brown bodies thread the way out
bellies scraping dimension
dolphin kicking to anywhere, now

two heavy hands rattle the porcelain doorknob
hurry, they're coming
i'm pressing my fingernails into my skin
i'm screaming into her shadow, into her tangled morning hair
or into an empty white wall against my bed
angry koreans cursing me quiet, from the other side.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

someone, seoul

i break agreements, the short hand passing.
it is only monday
the contrasting faces of this place, sought across my ocean, uprooting from under skin.

i take the train home, red faced and slouching,
across feet, a girl sleeps like her body could not straighten for a bed, she is a girl,
worn white shoes, a bag of rainbow flowers.
this city is spilled with the after of hours and there is no shame
it is the spending that is judged with two open eyes,
long strands smoothed, bangs straight just so. white cream shimmer just so.

i scold myself human, hours stacking mistakes.

now this is the you i know he says, nice.
he has named the other dragonlady, boasting her sexual ease
when i am a topple down stranger in the street
he stares mean, he slices the word different, like i am a stranger, he has yet to meet.

honest, i call her the brave self
day quiet nodding, and the neck is stiff, i call her the spittlestained mouth of won't.

as if i could whisper in the upturned ear of mercy, of power
i climb a
tower of light, each morning
grasping with two hands at infinite wisdom and the square shaped light behind closed eyelids.
i mouth the word universe.
slow sighing standing in a crowd
feet set apart just so,

and i say sorry
without weighing what i mean.
is how i am.