(1) VERBLESSNESS [After Herbert’s “Prayer (I)”]
엄마 the rosary of yarn and wire;
A vivid sunlit meter of lost sleep;
The brain in late November; gloom afire;
Misgiving that could make a camera weep;
Vivaldi, childhood, piano lesson years;
One safety pin, agape, its fang exposed;
Ten expectations failed; a schoolgirl’s fears;
Four seasons that forever sound transposed;
Glue-sticks, and coins, and thread, and pills expired;
A drawer in a bedroom rarely seen;
How much a single daughter weighs, attired;
Adhesive double-stick; the things we mean;
The password to my soul; divided blood;
A stunning riddle, half-misunderstood.
Once upon a time, I was born somewhere in Northern Virginia.
Once upon a time, before I lost my cradle language, a photograph was taken of you holding your firstborn child. In the photograph I am an infant wrapped in a blanket and you are smiling and I am smiling.
(Sometimes in my dreams I remember that blanket and I remember that closeness and I can hear you speaking to me in Korean and I understand what you are saying to me and we are communicating with such odd, exquisite, unnerving harmony.)
And then something happened. (What happened was neither bad nor good, neither wrong nor right. It simply had to happen.)
And then something else happened. (What happened was a disaster in the form of a mystifying call from the other side of Earth. I was four. Even now, when I see a bath towel, I think of your tears. The seasons passed and the towels kept disappearing into wherever you were.)
And then something else happened. (What happened was the beginning of my transliteration into something unrecognizable to you.)
And then something else happened. And then something else happened. And then something else happened. And then etc.
And over the course of such happenings you became so luminous and so intense, so furious and so pure, that I knew I would collapse into the core of myself if the two of us were ever to switch places. But you never collapsed.
And then the years passed.
And then you returned to the country of your birth.
And the country of your birth exists on the other side of the planet and half a day into the future.
And because our languages have become so alien I must worship you.
(3) MOTHERBOARD WALL
(4) AUTO RESPONSE
(5) ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
(6) About 1 result (0.34 seconds)
Whenever I search online for images of my mother, I find: a black hole being sought by a daughter -shaped nebula