The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs by Bo Schwabacher


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs by Bo Schwabacher, released by Tinderbox Editions in 2021.

An Adopted Korean Girl’s
Babies in a South Korean Babies’ Home

I will tie
up my hair

and stay sober
with the cries

of the babies
in Naju. The Pear Orchard for Tourists

is a temple
where I won’t feel bad

for what
I remember:

a red bean rice cake

in the pocket of
a leather jacket,

I walked away
into the Midwestern wind,

which we all do.

I drink and smoke and eat.

It’s the closest thing

to KORAIL (KTX).
“Gimjang” is the tradition
of preparing

winter
kimchi.

Enough.

I don’t belong

here
or here or here,

but I will try to love you
with clenched sleeping fists.

Bo Schwabacher is a South Korean adoptee. Born in South Korea, she was adopted at three months old and grew up in Illinois. Her poems have appeared in Cha, Radar, Tupelo Quarterly, Zone 3, and others. Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs, published by Tinderbox Editions, is her debut collection of poems. 

Alaina Hanchey, known as Harley to both friends and foes, believes rhetoric is intensely important and the way we speak can change the world. That belief was shared by her best friend, Quinn Arielle Kerlin, who inspired her to volunteer and immerse herself in those words that matter, and the connections that matter.

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