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Nov 152012
 

by Anna Gilbert

 

 

 

 

It was cold when she kissed him,

and the world was at war.

My uncle didn’t speak Korean

when he stroked her cheek.

In wintertime they married,

each nineteen.

 

The first time she flew across the sky,

he brought her home

to Alabama. His family

teased her pink hanbok,

her kimchi, her heavy tongue.

 

At night she caressed her swollen

stomach, and prayed for a daughter,

with black hair, and almond eyes,

someone to share her secrets.

 

She lost it

the day he told her

he was leaving.

 

While her insides twisted

and blood pooled

beneath her sheets,

she bit her tongue.