in Exile 2
Stars are whores.
I weave pubic hair for dolls and frogs naively lit by your orange
lamps. If cloth is meat, what is blood? Try weaving shredded wrists,
decapitated hearts. Was my mother a sacred bitch?
The earthen bridge takes me to a shallow creek. Is this the Milky
Way? Babies or children on bridges annoy me. Who separates them from
A galaxy of moss. Im tired of this imitation sky.
Lets skip to your dream. How many lamps did you see? Do you
remember east and west? Explain the island. Why is the bridge flat?
Describe the distance between the murmuring pines. Did you love my
mother? Will I remarry?
in Exile 3
Loneliness is a dense thing. Theres no data inside a collapsed
star. My tongue glides into a ring of silence. My heart beats in practical
terms. There is no moon, no cycle, no time. X-rayed a thousand times,
my sex is neutered. What cooks inside are sulphur, calcium, and ironthe
stuff from blood and bones, the stuff from fermenting stars. Lets
not say loneliness is solitude, for distance is not marriage.
Ask the butterflies. Prostitutes can only marry GIs.
I would explode if a hot fetus pressed against my belly. Sometimes
baby breaths can cause nausea. I remember mother as a river beyond
reach. I saw her only at night. Her milk was white. Her breasts had
hair like peaches. There were no gaps in her caress. I looked like
a boy, so I attempted to swallow her nipples. Next night, she returned
with tar smeared on her breasts. I never saw her again.
Detachment is easy. I thought the Herder could point me to the Milky
Way. Instead he drank his head off while chasing his ox. Father, I
think you are a closet weaver. Murmuring pines have told me so. They
say you cant measure distance like me and you never drink. Distance
is always far like tarred breasts. What use are lit lamps, when we
are both blind to blackness?
in Exile 4
You lug buckets of shit from one pond to another. Babies fall out
of wombs like ducks from Venus. When do tears split into water and
salt? The universe is one vast puddle of moss with pink poker dots.
One less duck wont stop Herder from hugging his beer bottle
smeared in ox shit.
Dont be fooled by chaos of crows, theyre just messing
with sonic waves. The universe isnt as deep as you think. However,
milk is deep. I forget babies. I forget to change their diapers. Like
cheese, they curdle on their own. I held one and felt I could love
anything. Mine had a cyst too heavy for his forehead. To feed him,
I had to hold a needle between my nipple and his mouth. I learned
that even milk needs distance.
You sent me to the west where the moon is always a sliver from the
shadow of deformity. My loom faces the east, screeching like a starved
ox. I weave for mothers without sons. Carps, peppers, noses, and oversized
genitals on fine silk pulled from the inner holes of caterpillars.
My feet are raw from peddling sex. I wrap the cyst in newspaper and
drop it in the starry river, while you pray to the pointless sky.
in Exile 5
Dear Father, I am sitting on crows backs that wobble with grease.
Stars look like pebbles from here. Magpies scream with joy. I weep
from solitude of claws.
in Exile 6
Help me, She-bear, help me help me. Father flung me to the core of
soot. My tears are turbulent from its pulsing thumb. Nebula has nice
Weaver in Exile 7
Please let Father die.
From the braids of crows backs I open a door. Drops of white
resin lead to a pond of molten carps. Flimsy orange and blue skin
swim across the Milky Way, leaving nothing behind.
Please let me cross.
Don Mee Choi's poems have appeared in Cipher,
Tinfish, and Action Yes. She has translated Anxiety
of Words: Contemporary Poetry by Korean Women (Zephyr, 2006) and
When the Plug Gets Unplugged: Poems by Kim Hyesoon (Tinfish,
2005). More translations of Kim Hyesoons poetry are forthcoming
from Action Books, 2008.