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On Guilt

 

On my head is
bellyfuls of plastic that’s
the size of Texas strewn with
corpses of plastic bottles beached
and skewered for their spotted
fur because the warm old glow
of vanishing elephants is worth its
weight in miles driven miles and
miles and miles of gray ribbon out
west because it’s our dream and
became everyone’s dream drowning
babies and continents raining
fire down on weddings and scraping
off the orange from orangutan
mothers butterflies are confused and
flying the wrong way and all this
is on my head.

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Old Person by Ki Hyeong-do

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

He is easily found out
like some kind of hard lump
unable to flee,
crouching in the shade of the park’s wisteria tree

*

He is sitting
permitting himself only the smallest of movements
my face, my spread shoulders, firm muscles
quietly licked
by the greedy glint in his eyes

*

I hate it, his short pants and the
mouth dribbling with spit and
his grizzled mind that’s
unable to perceive this

*

For the sole reason that I’ve never been there yet
I spit on his world
For the sole reason that he is already a place of exile,
I, protecting my world,
not one step
of his intrusion can I forgive

*

Suddenly I look at him, at the same instant he
drops his gaze to the foot of the wisteria
fumbling unceasingly with his clothes
still with mouth open
as if there was something he wanted to say, as if inside his body
something still remaining was burdensome

*

 

poem in original Korean