This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.
Today my uncle and his wife will visit my grandparents’ tomb in Korea the way they do every year. They will leave trays stacked high with persimmons and powdered tteok then say a Christian prayer as the wind stirs everything into wakefulness. On 추석 we remember the rise of the Silla, kingdom of gold crowns with jade carved and dangling like grapes. We celebrate three centuries of unity, North and South, dead and living together. We salute the rising moon. I think of my nephew’s grave in Troy, Michigan, 7,400 miles from my grandparents’ tomb, his headstone flush to the ground. Every time it rains the water floats trash down from the street nearby: a cigarette box, crumpled Burger King cups, plastic bags torn like the skin of ravaged prey. If I could go back I would claim a summit and build him a tomb. I would set a Silla crown upon his head. Every year, I’d bring gifts and invite the wind into the tomb where his skeletal jaws hang wide open forever trying to say one last thing.
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