Snow Grocer

like Sun Ra soaking up a cosmos
snow grocer sits there with his
white gloves & laughs every time
i try to guess what he's saying

e.g. how much to pay for makkoli
& then one day he says eh, tonight—
snow! as if he knows what i am
thinking: how these skies look

pregnant with ice, both of us
smiling and laughing—tonight!
only it doesn't snow, not tonight
or any other night this week but

still i trudge on down to him &
ask: tonight, snow? at which he
shrugs or laughs, or both: yes,
tonight, snow & then i realise

he's been speaking in English
for days & it hasn't snowed
but in the dead of the night it
falls down gently, like a rain

of makkolli on the hanok roof
& i think about how quiet it
is & how the sound of snow is
like a human breath on a window

or footsteps on the world's head

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