Poetry / February 2010 (Issue 10)

Two Poems

by Angela Eun Ji Koh

Our Malady

Baby, bow as much as possible, cross legged,
even if your kneecaps knock the table,
and seaweed hangs over the balcony.

After we feed each other without spoons
your sweat will thicken with Pacific salt. I'm sure of this,
more than glass tanks or fish bowls,

less than algae slipping from the sea's crest.

The Harvest Shaman

When my sun still burned east, love
you plucked the spruce twig tucked in my hair
with two woodchip shop-sticks from the shrine.
We played with the bell and blue fan.
They christened water over my face in the Kang-Su River.

You stayed long after the room emptied,
after the drone of June harvest chanting stopped.
You swept the dried wheat out the side gates
while the village pitched the desert dust into my cup.
The temple blazed into a fire among autumn pine.

We stole away to the Fisher's Stone Cliffs
The dipping moon rusts the pane; you stay by my sorrow.
Now, I knead the winter night between my palms
inside the Hibiscus quilt to melt the flaked snow.
Cupped hands will fill your thirst until the spittlebugs doze.

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