Youna Kwak

You say the world disappoints me

You say the world disappoints me. You say I am disappointed by
the world. The world is no feather to my plucking. Lighting strikes
elsewhere but the light it makes is ours. You say we should no
longer speak but live as companionable animals. Speech gone,
nullified. You say there is a closeness dimmed by words – the
foghorn sounding does not diminish our sleeves. The words are
a crash landing. Here on the Cape the animals cluster without a
sound. We resound killing insects between the palms. You say
speaking covers up the weakness – let the weakness ring and ring. I
recall most everything that you say. I remember crawling under the
brush, the tall grasses. You place the jars on the highest shelf. To
reach them I would need words.

You say not to speak is what’s holy. You cut several branches to
keep the fire lit. When we are out walking the blankets retain our
old shapes. You say without saying is the best of birch. Planks with
nails. Humming of insects then a buzz that recalls minute danger, a
single bite. Disease spreads without our say-so. I don’t know the
way to walk without words. After all I cannot recall everything.

You say I must chew on the words one hundred times. As lately
women of leisure brushed their hair. Slender green tendrils on the
firs also call for combing. I could count them for days, you say,
and still not make a sound. Without you I may find I am holy in the
forest. In the brush I am bottomless and sink in the bay. But just a
moment ago I slipped on the granite. The rain thrummed over what
would be my injury. You are my injury. We are from away and this
can never be changed.

You say I am a changeling and leave it at that. For in secret I
would prefer you gone. With you gone I might have uninterrupted
vision. And it will be my lot if it fills quickly with ghosts. When
you are gone you are easier to blame. What am I alone with the
lantern but a machine for blame. Unknown figures step from every
doorway. Or rather they don’t and so I can keep to solitude. A
candle briefly marks my missing you. I am not speaking having
followed your directive. Alone I am fir brushing up against the
granite. Darkness only comes slowly so you will notice it more.

You say these sounds are nothing to be afraid of. Even when you
are gone you want me to remain
darkening doorways, lit from within.
The rain seems to spell something about dread, the deck of the
boat, the storm whose first thunder cannot be traced. The solution
to our not speaking is you are gone.

The surprise is that nothing appears even as you may brace
yourself for it. I am no longer in the skin of trees which may
belong to you. In uninterrupted vision varieties of pine unceasingly
accumulate. What is this effort of the pool of light spreading over
my thin table. Light cast further for being higher up. Furnish what
bleak store the heavy heart in earnest motion. You wanted not
speaking now the open doors creak as if chewing each word.

You say an animal may be exhausted but never weary. I think of
the possible disaster of spilled kerosene,. Alone I have yet enough
to see with. You say the rain was an exception of drought. I am
storing up words but none to deceive you.

Youna Kwak