The Rooms of Forgiveness / Poetry by Sylvia Yoon Kim

1.

We built a house made of wood

It smelt of my childhood

 

Bows and ballet shoes

Stickers and glitter and glue

 

But wait

Do you hear it

The termites

 

Marching in an army

Invading from every corner

Where the light evaded our eyes

 

Look how they chew through everything

Look how they destroy without emotion

Look how they ravage the house we built

 

You told me you’d be back

Back to save the day

I waited for you

 

Standing still in the heart

Beneath the single vein of light

In the house we built together

 

As the termites entered

I waited for you

 

As the termites bit

I waited for you

 

As the termites touched my skin

I waited for you

 

In the house that smells like

Childhood fantasies and dreams

 

But you’ve forgotten a long time ago

 

And I still wait for you

 

2.

You call me weak

I’m a mouse in lion’s clothing

 

Cause I’ve walked through fire

I’ve ran with thorns in my heels

While you dance with sand

Telling me you’ve climbed mountains

 

I’ve had my name melt into nothing

My reflection portray a dead man

While you wish for perfection

In seamless plastic paradises

 

But I’ve felt it all

 

I’ve held on as darkness tried to take me

Away from my soul

 

I’ve stood on the precipice of endlessness

And chosen not to jump

 

I’ve seen the page of glory

And chosen not to write my own

 

And I can still smile

And I can still cry

 

And yet you call me weak

While there is a galaxy inside of me

While there is a roaring ocean

Cascading through my veins

 

Go ahead and release your arrows

 

I still bleed

 

When the reckoning comes

I hope you live to see

 

My redemption fall like rain

Flood waters set me free from the eternal sleep

 

While you’re still sleeping

 

3.

While they ravage

We sing

 

While they destroy

We dance

 

While they make monsters

We see angels

 

For what can darkness do

When light arises

 

4.

Forgetfulness is a blessing

 

Remembrances are like

Splinters in your heel

Piercing you with each step

As you try to move forward

 

With each failure

Like drinking poison

As it simmers low

Deeply in your mind

 

But to forget

Is to receive bliss

 

Erasing the pages

The character of those

Who wronged you

As a child

 

Let it slip away

Into the river

 

Wash it down with the current

Stream out of consciousness

 

The weight of pain

Is absolved

When we let

Our souls forget

 

Forgetfulness is a blessing

To yourself

 

Context:

A friend pointed out to me recently that although she liked my poems, she couldn’t understand a lot of it since all of them are so personal to my own situation. So I think I’d like to start writing just a bit of context to my poetry postings. What I had in mind with these set of poems is going through the stages of forgiveness. In poem #1 you have the offense in the portrayal of termites biting through a house. In poem #2, you have passion but also anger against the offender. I feel like poem #3 represents healing, learning to find joy even in the pain. And then finally #4 occurs during the forgiveness when we let ourselves forget about the wrongs made against us. I hope that makes a bit more sense now. Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll talk to you guys next week!

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