50/49 Redux

& later I realised I was halfway through my journey 
     waiting for a phone call (but I couldn't remember 

my own name. waking up to the sound of drilling
     wearing a t-shirt backwards I heard the dogs bark 

outside (artists drank soju & looked at leaves as if 
     they were maps & the traffic was silent & to meet 

travellers who might be gone by nightfall, oh! wash-
     ing piling up in my room without seeing stars when 

I didn't need a candle without a breeze from the sea 
     & showering under a cold hose. passing the ajumma 

out the front of her seafood restaurant (that took my 
     breath away smiling at the girls holding hands at the

markets. green revenue stamps from the immigration 
     department layered like a thinking plate of kim chi &

about my faraway family (or an overwhelming grief as 
     humid as bowls of bubbling soup. then the phone call 

made it all different. where old men sit in the park 
     on newspapers listening to the trills of old ladies at 

sweet stalls. in which season is it now on the verge of 
     turning. when my wallet bulged in my pocket, staring at 

holes in the bottom of empty soju glasses, watching as
     Koreans dreamed on the subways or standing in line.

catching pigeons with a net I eat dinner alone in a city 
     where everyone eats together, pore over hangul script 

crossing roads & counting seconds as the lights change
     wasted checking emails with a mosquito and a ceiling 

fan buzzing in my ears fished for hope in streams step-
     ping over puddles of spittle in the street. I no longer 

recall Australian radio stations. those were really days 
     drinking coffee cold from a can land of caffeine calm


2 Replies to “50/49 Redux”

Post a comment