beneath the pregnant swell of graves

an inverted bowl, unhulled rice grains scatter

mother dreams of her father three years later


wrenched shoulder of earth

his fetus curls shrimp-like

thick black ink seeping


tears in white paper envelopes

money in threes or fives or sevens

the dead lie with their heads to the north


milky froth of rice and yeast  

snapped, the stalk of barley

head pulled down by the weight of seeds



my name burned from the book of the dead



and so receiving

the bones from father

the skin from mother



Hyejung Kook’s poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Hyphen Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, wildness, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Other works include an essay in The Critical Flame and Flight, a chamber opera libretto. She is a Fulbright grantee and a Kundiman fellow. Find more of Hyejung’s work






Next Page (Hyejung Kook)


Previous Page (Hyejung Kook)