Apartment Poetry Quarterly

14A              14B              14C              14D              14E              14F


14E Lee Young-Ju, translated by Jae Kim




     The multifaceted nature of hell. I want to get out. I’m stuck, like grief, between slabs of ice. You, on the other hand, are able to hold everything in your gaze, even death, as if to behold a glass globe containing ashes. People used to talk, walking all over me. Passing by, they turned back toward the night, into which a grand slab of ice had fallen. Who would have thought they could see so much in such darkness; I must go home before it gets any darker. I ran. I was good at running. I sprinted and was soon trapped in ice. No one could cure my night-blindness. In the dark, I can hear the sound of heavy feet and fast feet bumping into each other. An old man hammers on the ice; he realized he wouldn’t be able to draw the map of the whole world and returned after many centuries. Why won’t you melt? Spring has come. The old man looks at me and shakes his head. One can be lost anywhere on earth. I’ve been wedged into grief. I have the taste of glaciers on my tongue.






     Holding your tiny arm We were suddenly exiled Nobody rehearses the future It’s raining The cold enters through the touch In front of the mirror, the muscles in our arms, which melt like steel beams as we stand side by side in the rain, turn into some other matter We drink barley tea, staring at each other We clean the mirror The cloud eats, is hungry no matter how much it eats, and becomes bloated The material order has been reversed The business of liking someone is always haunted by an aura We meet, part ways, and meet again How does it feel so fresh each time? The rain that fell on me yesterday enters the bloodstream Must have melted through Look My touch breaks down your muscles We hold each other briefly on the rooftop How deep will the puddle be when this rain stops Let’s not think about the units for the passage of time One can be exiled without there being gunshots The chemistry in the rains has been reversed The night we are rained on, we towel off together The clear water is soon drained Our joined shoulders are spoiling We’re soaking wet, but the order between us has changed While being rained on While licking our way down to the bones My muscles have been completely broken down Imagine being hungry for your entire life Let’s not rehearse the future where we can’t eat anything because we’ve become unable to digest anything They say a star shines by disappearing, but holding hands and spreading out, you and I 

     lump up, hands melting, sweet and sour, spoiled honey