Selected poetry from Hayun Cho.
write Her true and write Her warm
No, I will not write Her sad today.
Today She is merrier than the gods.
She has eaten them all,
She is sitting on their altars and guzzling their wine.
She is a little drunk.
Monsoons wind down Her thighs.
Mirrors tremble at the sight.
When I flip through old photos,
I am unabashedly in love with my younger self.
A skinny little thing, my legs always bare,
At turns wounded and gleeful at the camera.
In a sweater, I showed my teeth at the bright light.
It meant, get lost, I am the most beautiful of all.
I remember childhood friends. The boy I played with,
Naked, as twilight settled on New England sand.
I used to sing 매미야, 매미야
There are videos of me with no underwear on,
My eyes large and black, serenading the cicada’s downfall.
I was chirping away like a little bug.
If I were to find gods of migration within myself,
I would name each and every one of them joy,
Take them by their hearts and fly with them.
I am the vocabulary required to exist.
Generations of fake pearls and soju downed like a prayer.
Waking up in the morning.
Calling my mother on the phone.
I am laughing in Korean, I am not split tongue.
Frying spam in the kitchen.
I can burn U.S. meat edible on a pan.
I can still feed myself.
These countless images of holy.
Nothing anyone can write down.
This is the living I do.
I am not tired eyes, I am not lost loves.
Hayun is a rising senior at Yale studying literature. Her work has been published in The Margins and The Kenyon Review. She calls both Seoul and Chicago home. Photo credit: Mehyun Song
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