He opens the window
puts his hand inside my heart
and pumps out water.
When I open the door
because I feel like running away
somehow he manages to get near me
opens the window
and hauls the water from my heart.
As he pumps and pumps
eventually I stagger from a bout of blackness
he opens the window
throws a hot coal
into my empty heart
and says, follow me follow me.
I follow and stick close to him. I stick close no matter what.
Meanwhile, he runs away, filled with fear, he runs.
He runs and says, I am your Father, keep your distance.
Then I let him know itís me, Iím your mother-in-law.
Sometimes he says, Iím your grandson, and runs.
Then right away I threaten. Iím your grandsonís wife; Iíll show you our bond.
Mind deteriorates. Mind declines and gets trampled upon.
He says smugly that because of love he canít see the mountain.
Then I brag that for me thereís no such thing as mountains. Donít you see the
world is only
made of deep holes?
My laughter doesnít stop.
At every laughter
a hole appears on a running shirt.
You wear a blue mask and enter.
You hold a pair of shiny scissors.
You say, Get up now, itís time for a showdown.
We take turns
exposing our guts.
You begin to laugh as well.
Hee hee hee
your, intestine, is, blue, is, too, skinny
your, intestine, is, yellow, like, a, poisonous, moth.
Laughter doesnít stop.
At every laugh
a roof vanishes.
Eight arms stretch out.
Cold sunlight begins to shake
the two of us
unable to stop laughing.
full of evergreen leaves
attached to our bodies.
(Translated from Me Korean by Don Mee Choi)
from ARTS & LETTERS, Fall 2000