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 Two Poems | Susan Moon

Picasso's Korea Diptych

Shadow-lit bodies of expectant mothers

are mapped in raised-relief, stripped

A woman's palms open to grief's longitude 

but you've heard this all before, haven't you? 

Hahoe-tal faces of gnarled maternity

split in asymmetric anguish, multiplying

empty pupils fixed on me

trenched against the forcible foot of war

by armored angles of grommets and steel.

crosshaired by kingdoms trying to prove a point

From afar, blades are rendered blameless

fascinate all that silver rib and ligament

their muzzles, massacre after massacre,

unmothering another daughter of war. 

Unrequited Super Tampon


String braided

between your legs, I soak

your blood / Your fury floods

with such   brunt

     The night you blacked out

blunted   by some crooked cocktail

    the security alarm sounded

you did not hear   the trespasser

                                bust / your vestibule

bypassing your usual sensors

    tracking grime on the undersides

    of his soles, unannounced

    and unwelcome. I was made to protect you

from shameful accidents but I could not block

    the intruder from breaking:

           the fine china / light bulbs / wall clocks

           the celadon teapot /  you inherited from your mother.


I tried to stop it all          from shattering

was knocked          to a dark corner

                         of the ravaged room

unconscious and reeling. No, I cannot—


                  what he was wearing

                  the shape of his nose

                  nor the color of his eyes

But I'll tell you this: He was not unfamiliar

with blood. No stranger to casual cruelties.


I called you by name      

    but you did not answer   hurled flare signals

    a pain shooting   through your core     

                         but how could I reach you?


I withered in you   the smell

    of your rot   the only thing

you awakened to.   How is it

    you could stare back into his eyes

the morning after   the breaking 

    open of everything          

but when rude forceps slung me

back into your stratosphere

    inhospitable to my cotton

    on a cold tray of stainless steel        

you could not look me in the eye,

my threads come unbraided      

    and undone?   Did you think

this would be the last time

    for rage / release?

Susan is a Korean-American poet and MFA candidate at the Writer’s Foundry of St. Joseph’s College. Her work has appeared in GianthologyThe Shore and The Gravity of the Thing. Her coordinates for home fall between the US, China and Korea, and she currently resides in Brooklyn.

Twitter: @smoon1

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