Suphil Lee Park

At This Hour of Long Sky

You dawn. See across.
Not an elongated road ahead
and behind. Not its intestine
across the foggy swamps
closing in on me. “I” happens
when a mythical creature adopts
a familiar face. The devil perhaps
is a girl with poorly-done pigtails.
Upturned, anything
can resemble a pair of horns.
She suckles one prawn’s head
after another, tasting sulfur in salt.
The sheer desire for life
holds the apparatus of life together.
Does she feel it at work,
this age of fog turning
into a mind-threatening city
empty but for her, all grown-up
and in all black, lighting
a cigarette for a wax-white
man in a wheelchair, his IV drip
invading the dark like a lanterned kite
while I, without feeling, think
how my mother tongue
pronounces IV the way I do linger.
The hospital where their loved one
is dying is not here.
But the light’s eloquence travels—feeling
nothing accentuated
unjustly, no war in proximity,
which makes the rest of the night easier
when I is but a button
holding down a blue, diverging ripple
of time about to burst
into its true form—a single color
where I’m adrift
without drifting in the least.

Suphil Lee Park was born and grew up in South Korea. She holds a BA in English from NYU and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Texas at Austin. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Colorado Review, jubilat, the Missouri Review, and Ploughshares, among others. Her fiction is also forthcoming in the Iowa Review.