Poems by Sylvia Yoon Kim

1.

Realization

That you are not the

Idealization

Of your self

 

Amidst the stillness

The quiet alone

 

Colorful ribbons shed and fly

Twirling and whirling all around us

 

Down, down, down

Into the dark

 

Falling around us

Me and You

Staring, warring against the

Brilliant gold and black

 

You touch me

I fall

 

Mere mortal body

Collapses like the rest

Of those who are all

 

 

2.

I am the girl with two names

 

One beneath the warmth of blankets

Hidden under soil

Trailing underneath

My footprints backwards

 

On the outline of my eyes

Floating in the scent of my dark hair

Sounding in church bells ringing

 

Where faces mirrored stare at me in herds

But they are not mine

In the reflections I cannot see

My face on theirs

 

My name

My name

 

Is losing pride in diversity

In all the colors I am grey

I am weightless

I am an unidentifiable decision

 

Spinning around and being pulled

Wanting to fit in the crevice of the whole

Generational we gap

 

Amidst the worlds and oceans

Of here and there and flying

Of names beginning, middle and end

Of a sight of two hearts molded into anew

 

My name

My name

 

I am nowhere

I am in the outskirts

The forgotten in between

Permanently fleeting

 

Only to find that

No one can make the sounds

The pattern of a lost and found

The texture of two thumbs different

 

I am the girl with two names

 

No one knows my names

No one except me

 

 

3.

Dark tunnel of dirt and mud

I reach out my hand

To find you

 

Deeper and farther I dig

For a piece of you

Whisper of a touch

 

I shed myself

My clothes wither

My hair befalls in heaps

 

Naked and bare I dig

Only to find you

Your light or a shadow

 

The farther I go

My skin and muscle

Lessen into bone

 

Echoless of your remnants

I tried to reach you

Here I am at the bottom

 

There you are

With your feet standing

On top of my eyes

 

And I’ve found that

I am gone

Are you happy?

 

 

4.

Do not call me your lovely daughter

When I was never yours

And you were never mine

 

Do you think I’ve forgotten?

The days when I’d see you arrive

And I the fool, who’d greet your slippery grin

With a hug

 

Do you think I’d never grow to understand?

The nights of your absence

And you bang bang banging on the front door

 

Do you think I could unsee it all?

The belt

The needle

Your daze

 

You were never there

 

Time heals all wounds

Is a lie

And forgiveness is the ultimate test

Of humanity

 

But not now

Not yet

 

Let me simmer in this

Chemical anger of hurt

Fizzle my heart some more

With your slippery smile

 

Who gave you the right

To touch me

Don’t ever touch me

 

You usurped your throne

With a theft

Of our lives

Asking

 

What fault is mine?

 

The state of our tree is rotten now

Rotten at the roots

You’ve poisoned us all

 

I still taste the smell of your cologne

Like backwash in my mind

 

I still feel your absence

When you try to make your presence

Known to me now now now-still?

 

I cannot forget

I could never forget

 

Until the suspicion breaks

And the body

Can take no more

No more

 

Oh! Forgiveness!

Oh! Forgiveness!

 

You’ve cracked my nerve

Like a leaf in the gutter

 

Wind and water

Wash me away

If only I could breathe

If only I could stay awake

To hear

 

You say you’re sorry

 

Daddy

 

I wish I could say it without

The arrows you’ve injured my joints

To move

To breathe

To speak

 

Daddy issues

What a cliché

You’ve made out of me

 

 

5.

Pursuits without passion

Is death

 

Flow

The everlasting release

 

Stopped short

Aborting what could be

Your legacy

 

Real world

Real life

 

Real

Real

Real

 

Is now

Is one

 

This world

Was not made

For you to be

Insignificant

 

Fear it

Oh dear ones

 

What is real

Is failure

 

What is real

Is mediocrity

 

What is real

Is a nameless tombstone

 

Fear it

And anticipate

Your downfall

Unless you choose

 

To cover the jaws of

The lonely ones

The loved ones

Who will shatter your dreams

With what is real

 

Take a step

On the air of make believe

 

Where the wind is sweet

And the water is murky

But you are alive alive

Broken free and alive

 

You were not made to be

Insignificant

 

 

6.

This world is filled with lots of pebbles

Clumps of dirt we treat like diamonds

 

Bite down hard on that dollar sign

As your teeth fall off and break

 

We smile toothless

Worthless smiles

 

White picket fences

Encircle our minds

2.5 kids and a dog

Named frivolous

 

We walk down lonely roads

And call this place our home

 

Captured we say we are free

In our comforts we are lost

 

Searching for meaning

Meaning

Meaning less

 

Happiness is meaningless

No I will not settle for happiness

 

Give me joy!

 

Give me joy like the cataclysmic rejuvenation of rain

After 21 years of drought

 

Give me joy like the scars on a wrist and mind

Replaced with golden embroidery from the sun

 

Give me joy like a poor hungry child

Receiving a loaf of bread and fish

 

Give me joy like feeling whole

After wandering with gaping holes for life

 

Give me joy like feeling your wings

Enrapturing me saying baby you can still fly

 

Give me joy like seeing my pain transform

Into poetry

 

Give me joy in a place called paradise

When you will wipe away every tear from their eyes

 

And where we will finally feel

Home

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