issue 4: spring 2002

> Sue Kwock Kim

Leaving Chinatown

Slicing a mango to share between us, your mother
smiles at the grinning fool I've become, pours me
more and more wine. You’re working late uptown.
Green platanos searing in oil, saffron rice boiling,

black beans simmer with sofrito, chili, red onion
until steam clouds the room, tasting of salt,
wetting my eyes. What lies between us feels thin
as this mist, as strange. How real is it? When she takes

my face in her hands as she would open a fruit,
her ravaged voice cutting through me, I see her
as she must have been once, afraid of nothing—long before

she fell in love with your father, a man who shattered
what he touched, who left her eyes galled by all the other
faces, like yours, she might have looked into with love.


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ISSN # 1537-2812 
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