Poetry and photos by Somi Jun
Are we as outta here as those blue nights, when I looked down and saw my street, lit yellow in a haze. As the night I couldn’t sleep in your bed, woke at 4am and sobbed to the sound of amen. As the half hour I shaved and saw the V of my thighs in the mirror. As Friday night boogie right. As the fall of her toes from the trapeze. As his Christmas gift and I see now I am grown without a witness. As the last rite of Mercerism, that damned two-way street. As outta here as dead road, a one-way train through the suburb.
15 hours under the weight of glass,
my feet curved into the side of a self-proclaimed anarchist.
I fell asleep to speech of
Burning pigs and bitching chicks and a baking planet’s
Wrath, old as fenced animals. His throat warbles
Through a plea to the nuclear family’s dog.
Food before bombs.
My last night in Los Angeles, we are staked at King Taco with only
Free cups of water and protests too loud.
Welcome to a fast food dollhouse.
Why do I wax sympathetic for the boys who dropped out,
Who picked up and left a cyclical test
That was my only triumph.
He sits across from me and does not
Blink, nor say a word.
The diners lean close to catch a self-fulfilling prophesy:
Bumps in his hair, Seven years my senior, Safe across the counter.
I demand recognition for genius that is not mine,
And I am sure he is halfway there. Still,
He looks my way.
Not by musings of hell nor our fathers’ scar tissue.
Not by tender teeth nor one punch whiskey,
Watered down by ice and his cousin Alyssa
Slipping on excess drink and the things that don’t fit anymore
(A white knuckle fist, a spill).
Not by accident nor my caste as plus-one,
Not by eleven days in Norway nor four in Portland,
Not by proximity nor loyalty.
Not by this city nor this boy,
I don’t want to be touched.
There is the ancient question of
The Creator’s first language. He spoke
Never English but a shade closer
To the circumference of a circle,
That solo rodeo of repeating
Steps, two-by-two, dosie do, eternal swing.
Peering from the outside in.
About these poems: I spent some time in LA, then some time in Riverside, then some time in Portland. I met a lot of new people and tried to start something and overall, talked more than I’m used to. I asked myself many times, what’s wrong with me. But you know. I got some good answers and some great laughs.