Back to Issue Forty-Three

On the Homestead


for my sister

We will sing karaoke to the rhythmic clip
of non-holographic horses—
In our compost we’ll foster a commune
of beetles with kerosene shells.
They will live twice their lifespan
on radish tops and melon rind.
We will make fire, finally,
without fear. When we look
at each other we will do so in the light
from the stars, sesame seeds
in the cloudy broth of the universe:
bright garnish. Not dead pixels, not
festering night. We will relinquish
our memory of flight, of fields beneath us
like chess boards, endless possibilities
to beat or be beaten. We will learn to wait
as they waited in the old country:
to bury and salt our love’s long labor
beneath cold ground, so it grows tender
and red against rot. We will board up
the old mine by the creek and pray
the hill holds, that it scars
and remembers. When the bears roam
we’ll stay inside and work to fashion
with bare hands the tapestries
of our future: its warmth, its uncertainty,
its certain demand for our diminishment.
What we sing the wind alone will hear.


Haunting is an Act of the Living


Fortune mushrooms like the aftermath of a bomb, unpredictable and occasionally malignant. Algae coalesces like an army of dreams. You arrived here with no desires. You arrived full of bullshit. You arrived with the squalling of the magpie, auspicious or ominous, depending on who you ask. You asked the occident. Replicable mistake. You spilled coarse salt all over the tile like an offering. Let it shrivel and shrink the heads of the cabbages. Let their water pool like mercy deferred. You spoke your second name, spelled with characters held only by the dead, into a doorway. And emerged into an alley in a city where the stars are always invisible. You seek other faces in this artificial light.


Megan Kim is a writer from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. She is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and serves as an Associate Editor for Palette Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tinderbox, Narrative Magazine, and Sycamore Review, among others, and she has received support from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.

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