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.

Learning Korean

I am sorry
for my plum-shaped tummy,

for being
the disastrous pull—seed and egg—

egg and seed,
for drawing connections

between what I know—
national flower: cow + goon + sharp breath

hello: onion-HA-say-O
grandmother: hi-money

jeon pancakes (저냐) are fat
with promise and generosity

sugar rice tea: sikhye
is mysterious mothering

my tongue is flat
with all the American curves

Levi’s jeans remind me of hamburgers
and a strip mall off the I-17,

the network of lights
turning off

             and on

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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