There was a man. A Japanese soldier. One that did not believe in old superstitions. One that did not believe in sex before battle as charm against harm. He was an odd man. One that did not carry an amulet with pubic hair of a comfort woman. Or any piece of her. His comrades said, be a man. The equation is, an odd man out is not a man. There is no reason for logic in war. There is no reason. There was a man. His comrades said, come raid, come pillage. Pushed him into the station. Their eyes on the holes in the wall. Watched as he came. Became. What is the equation here. There is a no equation here. There was a man. One who said weeping, I am not a man, I am not a man.
Emily Jungmin Yoon’s work has appeared/is forthcoming in Pinwheel, The Collagist, The Offing, Best of the Net 2014, & elsewhere. She won Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest and WC&C Scholarship Competition in 2015. She is the Poetry Editor at at The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, and a PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.