Su Cho

Winters in Queens

We sleep on the heated floors of the church’s
!50!nursery room every winter because

something is wrong with my mother’s
!50!green card application. We stack

Spice Girls gum and tear-jerker gumballs
!50!each day to prepare for the trip back

to Indiana. The dogs chained outside the gates
!50!yip as my brother and I gaze

past the sanctuary’s one-way mirror. In the ocean
!50!of red carpet and crosses, a lone woman

prays so hard that I swear I can hear her through
!50!this soundproof glass. She sways forward

and back like a thick spring uncoiled. More women
!50!enter and when perms are loosened,

dabbing at their eyes, I realize that the woman
!50!is my mother. She can’t see me but I duck

into the sleeping bag. In the car ride back home,
!50!our bodies still buzz. We munch on vanilla

crème cookies from the gas station and make crosses
!50!with the Slim Jims in our laps. When we hit

empty corn fields, we hit our heads against the seat
!50!imagining ourselves chanting Ju-Yuh, Father, Our Father.

Su Cho received her BA in English, Creative Writing, and Psychology from Emory University. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review, and her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Day One, Thrush Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @su__cho.