Poem written on January 13 and revised two days ago, after reading it at Cornelia Street Cafe.
The night when the nuptial song inside the body had to be taken out by emphatic sign language
Kim Hyesoon, “Ghostmarriage”
Sign language had not meant to lay a hand on her
but song looked only in the mirror when she sang.
After crossing his heart seven times and still failing
to turn her face, he reached for her with his hands.
She looked at him from eyes as placid as a cow’s
while her mouth squeezed the udder of her body.
The squirts of sound tasted warm, and for a while
he did not know to thank his hands or her singing.
He thanked her the only way he knew, shuddering
into the soft places where his hands had pounded.
The song wrapping its tenderness around the sign,
when he spilled his seed he could almost speak.