Poetry / June 2013 (Issue 21)


by Ae Hee Lee Kim

While following the trail of the forest,
I glanced at a couple offering
a ten yen coin
to a miniature Buddha statue.
Their dark eyes softened
at its placid gravel smile.
Their prayers sounded
like cat bells.
Sunlight rained,
tingeing the sky persimmon—
a fox’s wedding,
I took sanctuary
at the hall of a hundred wood pillars
painted in bright red.
The tide came to blanket the yawning moss,
nuzzled the feet of the shrine gate,
and old lore painted the waters.
I had been told that God is present in beauty.
But my heart
tightened in guilt and delight
as I watched the earth flood.
Let me spoil, it seemed to say.
I will be a saint later.
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