Confession in Neon Lights

Seoul: a hotbed of mosquitos, scaffolding.
A land so engorged that they built up,
shelving us into space where the planes fall.
Where burning lanterns suspend. Where a boy
looks down, decides he can jump.
And they built underground. Hollowed out halls
to trap their own lights. Darkened rooms glittered
by an epileptic blue, with the strobe of
teeth breaking through the mouth,
so God could be distracted by the sin
pumping above them. In one of these rooms is
an internet café. A boyfriend and I spend
one thousand won an hour. Computers stretch out on
either side of us, like we have taken space in
the middle of wooden pews. They blink red eyes,
whisper wire throats. And the boys who play games
with guns listen to us on the other side.
The cussing gets quiet. Listen, he that is without
sin among you, gluttonous, and turn the beloved
into confession. My boyfriend rolls his eyes back
to the ceiling frescoes of dead moths
on the rib of fluorescent light. This is he,
who looks so unabashedly at love.

Haro Lee lives in South Korea with her grandmother. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, Zone 3 Press, The Offing, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of Epiphany Magazine’s Breakout 8 Writers Prize. You can find her @pilnyeosdaughter.

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