Eunice Kim

in response to the symptom of apathy

and still the world                goes on.
the ossified tectonic plates, the grand
mute motions of their          grief.
i go through every variable of
this universe and its machinery. the

unwilling gears, the
agonies of invariance. on the
spectrum of visible light,
the individual is endlessly iterated.

this version of myself blisters
quiet and stolen. and i

could not keep the war from coming
home and i could not                  sanctify a
city holy         enough to stop the killing.
and i could not
remind their time-moored bodies
of the way roadkill putrefies when

nobody is left to make an altar of it.

in the space between those
things that did not happen, i sing,
tracheal and impermanent.

i break each of my
mouths against the landlock gyre of the
system:          an elegy to the outline
of my lungs.               an elegy for the
imperfect       shapes they keep,
the oxygen     riddling my veins
as proof of concept there is someone
         left alive. and i will

aperture myself in this unyielding
world for as long as it takes.
i will take gentler hands and quantify
the things we sing for in the night.

the body’s grief is apocryphal

the sleeping animal of the city lets                     me go, anesthesia-cruel.
              my tongue calcifies twice over, meat
to cellophaned bone, loss at the most               cellular level. i collectivize
                                               myself like it will chase the wanting. and
still i pray for                                    rain to sing me to sleep. for homeland
            to unstick the bullets damasked in my throat,
            to tell me this landfill
history has not been for nothing. the
                                    family portrait waterboards me nightly. our
           confession room is brackish with
                                              stories and i am rendered judge-jury-
executioner, carrying the   weight of a tenderized and makeshift
           muscle. off
with her head.                      off with her
            tongue. i fishhook a            confession from myself in the bitterest
                                   language. i have never been
looking for absolution until now, but there is
            another world                       riding slipstream to this one where the
skin on my teeth is only from the blacktop and i have not yet
                                                            learned how to turn, maddened,
on the city that no longer wants me.


Eunice Kim is a Korean-American writer living in Seoul. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in ANMLY, Sonora Review, Pidgeonholes, Young Poets Network and more. She currently works as a staff reader for The Adroit Journal and a volunteer writer for Her Culture.

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