forever sounds like: Selected Poetry by Hayun Cho

Selected poetry from Hayun Cho.

forever sounds like

Person riding on a bike in a parking lot behind a truck and shed.

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.


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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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