Jessica Kim

tonight, a girl straggles
below streetlights, the horizon
noosing her limbs taut.

encounter during night of death

tonight, a girl straggles
below streetlights, the horizon
noosing her limbs taut.

nearby, an apothecary storefront
vaults with closure and the back alleys
wind into cul-de-sacs. she does not

return home. instead, the girl
trapezes across monkey bars and
scrapes the achromatic skies, eyeless.

armed with fiberglass arrows
in this playing ground. unrelenting
to the sickled moon and every

reflection of herself in another life:
vinyl records, mythology, feet bound
by quiet retributions. she cradles

some tight-beaked sparrow
in her palms, mistaking chirp
for the creak of swing-sets

carved on backbone. oscillating
in the world’s tongue and someday,
she will fly. call it nostalgia,

the quagmire sinking
all pesky ambitions. she pleats
each inflated wound into her shirtdress

and constricts dreams in her intestine.
still shredding memories from bone
marrow, still climbing up the curvature

of a soft embrace. some distance away,
the foxtails ward off the hounds
that bay for her bones. but she is here,

dissolving into midsummer heat
as the night loosens. in this way,
the world meddles with everything

that can never be hers. as dawn
meets the sockets where her eyes were,
the girl, already burning.

Jessica Kim is a disabled poet. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work appears or is forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Grain Magazine, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review. Find her at www.jessicakimwrites.weebly.com and @jessiicable.
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