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  • Six Poems
  • Kim Yideum (bio)
    Translated by Chung Eun-Gwi (bio)

Drifting Black Hair

Deliver us from love

—Suzanne Brøgger

On the ladle catches gaping cow shank. Tunnels are formed in the        long-boiled bone.With a baby on her back, a woman was running beneath the        underpass. A head fell from the baby wrap and rolled to my        feet. Carelessly I kicked it into the river. The beggar woman was        batshit crazy and kept on running.A cow mooed from uncle's front yard. My school uniform skirt was        rolled up higher.

Someone sent me a bone. What the sender looked like I had no        idea. I grabbed my stomach laughing. Scrawny legs. Snake-        patterned skin on the bloated belly. Hope to devour a croaking        frog. Summer is there right before dark.

My constitution has changed. Beloved, entropy, excessive.Lying parallel to the floor, one is caught in the charm of fear.        Deathly pale is a beautiful color. [End Page 157] The newborn was a mixed baby with many fine lines. I drew a line        farther than the horizon, or the crescent marks. Milk for the        little one, cereal for me. Could we have lived together? I wish        latent blue eyes germinate and other forms gradually move on to        greater oblivion.

Just pay the medical bill. Online transaction was easy. A body with        no single fingerprint on it, the pale little moon. A young couple        wraps it and disappears. What matters is the afterword. No need        to pay the fare to the baby basket.

The day when all the cows in the village headed for the pit and        it poured before seeing clouds. Oh, fluffy hair appeared and        vanished between thighs, again.Is there anything fun enough to risk my life. What's that, walking        into the river.Something round sucked into a white circle across the river. [End Page 158]

Your Spy

Flowers are withering on the windowsillOn my windowsill, flowers are withering and scented candles are
        burning on
as I lie in loose sleep

There was an umbrellain front of the door

The sound of pausing footstepsTwo pieces of cold bread in front of the doorA wet baby in a wet plastic basket in a wet plastic bag in front
        of the door
Baby is not cryingThough my milk overflows

Did your letter burn me and leave like a scented candleI really don't know the language of this countryI really don't know when I'll wake up

I keep a distance from reality—it is my congenital attitude. I don't        renew my cards and don't feel the need to ventilate my room.        Whenever someone knocks on the door I straighten my eye        mask and go back to sleep. Even if somebody without skin peeps        into my window even if the sun clings to the balcony, my pulse        keeps beating mechanically. Don't worry. I stay still like dead        skin flakes and hair in the vacuum cleaner. Only this dormancy        would continue. It is onerous for me to look up the mission date,        as troublesome as converting lunar dates. However specific, I'm        a spy dispatched by my dreams. My special skills: shaking head        sideways, being confused to the end, confounding things. [End Page 159]

Happy Music

From the terrace of a Korean restaurant in Montreuil, we were
        looking down.
Even after evening fell, the black girls on the street didn't head home.Nobody was happy there.A man from North Train Station dragged a girl by her hand and
        disappeared into the alley.
We were waiting for that time, as we were watching over them until
        their parents came.

A passerby waved his hand at us. We laughed while talking about        Western men's body odor and butts and then pulled out cigarettes.The matches were wet.Nobody was happy there, only rich, temporarily pleased or laughing.

My partner was delighted to hear you would come.Perhaps talking about Incheon is like introducing a pretty friend        to a lover.

Gaëlle was born on the beach and adopted here at three, Korean age,And now works as...


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pp. 157-164
Launched on MUSE
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