Two Poems by Amber Kim


     Hush. Crept the Junebug in the middle of summer,
in the middle of nowhere. Where the windows were stained with rain
marks, dripping and seeping inside the sills. Hush.
Cries the mother. Where tree branches thickened &
fruits fattened to be harvested in autumn. Rain-
drops leaking through damp roofs, I pictured rain
                    litter the playhouse we built
               one summer’s day. Granola bars eaten in one bite and
                    gushed down with lemonade.

     Hush. Wept the willows. When I peeked
through the cracked holes in the wall; peeked
through the moonlight that quivers, that shudders against the doors; peeked
through the silhouette of another, that traces a back arching; peeked
at the warmth that radiated in the center of my palm.
                         They say
               the steam still eats me,
               drinks my lips & kisses my lids.
Inside the porcelain bowl,
we drain each other,
gather light by the window
& let it drown to our necks
until we were full of each other.


                         The Lady speaks in exasperated sighs.
               Sighs that carry onto the next breath
          & onto the other. She lingers
by the armchair.
We wait
in broken syllables of silence.
          Lay-dee. My lay-dee.
     Ma-lay-dee. Me. Lay-dee. Doesn’t speak often
but when she does, she does it in doses
         Hush, hush.                     Withers the nightingale & her feathers
plucked. Cries the mother. When she clutches                                                                                        on the edges of their hair strands                                                                                                               sprawled on their blanket. Hush.                                                                                                                                                Hush.                                                                                                                                                 Hush.

Crept the Junebug in the middle of summer,
in the middle of nowhere


Red in Harmony

So I am sitting for the last bus stop to town,
it’s raining, no nothing, no umbrella on me
I dig in my pockets, couple of bills and some coins,
I walk down the aisle, see the seat at the back empty,
I sit down, pull off my bag, and sleep.
Sundays, I am dancing in the red room,
velvet gown stitched on me, holding up champagne
talking nonsense, laughing discreetly,
I popped another aspirin before I got here,
I think I’ll take another when I’m home
“When do you think we’ll see each other again?”
Probably never but I smile, “Soon.” It’s January
and stars are bursting, I grab my shoulder,
and decide my bones ache. It’s February
and I hide under the sheets with my toes peeking. In May,
I’ll get to see my sister and her husband,
I should visit my mother before she calls.
I stop by the grandma selling yesterday’s produce
on the side of the street in her truck, headlights
still flickering, she keeps forgetting to fix it,
I ask to buy the rest of the apples,
molded and brown but who cares,
I carry two tons
weighing on me, slipping away
inside the night.

So I am riding the last taxi at night to home,
it’s snowing. “When are you going to come home?”
It’s my mother in her hoarse voice, cracking,
I lean on the window, watching kids
drunk, vomiting. “Soon.” Then watch
the rest around them spit their saliva like
trying to inseminate the hard dirt. “I’ll be there”
It’s December and laughter trickles out
from me, from lips. “I’m here.” January breathes,
I’m still at the bus stop waiting,
my head leaning too far into the road 


Amber Kim likes exploring loss in writing, whether that be a loss in identity, person, or place. She is currently a senior and lives in South Korea with her loving cat, Mango, and is an amateur photographer.

Visual Art by Alice Park

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