This selection, chosen by guest curator Sarah Clark, is from Cleave by Tiana Nobile, released by Hub City Press in 2021.
Moon Yeong Shin
Written on the white slip at the bottom
of a polaroid, cut off by the frame:
a name. Many years passed before I learned
surnames come first in Korea. I rode
my bicycle in circles around this reversal.
For years, my skin leaped from shadow to shadow.
I drank the darkness, or the darkness drank me,
but what’s the difference when your veins are full
of haunting? One day I will walk
the narrow streets of many cities full of ice
freshly frozen. I will hike through forests
of wind storms newly risen. I will learn
and forget the names of many trees,
of tea leaves plucked too early in the season.
I will orbit the earth like a moon
searching for its shadow. Where does a moon
find its planet? Or is it the other way
around? To be a recently hatched egg-moon,
curved shell pinned to the sky. I’ve spent my whole
life in orbit of other people’s light, celestial satellite
in ceaseless wane. How much can you learn
from a stranger’s surname? A young animal
crawls its way out of the womb, stretches its legs,
and feels cold for the very first time.
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