hobart logo

August 23, 2021 Poetry

2 Poems

Megan Kim

2 Poems photo

Second Generation

I was thrown from lack by joy
& bruised
flung into fortune’s 

open arms by nothing
but your touch

made precious to me

I had lived long in the country 
of belief that this skin
was no man’s land, unwelcome

or disputed ground: 
imagine my surprise

when I awoke a bird

high above the terrain of my body
I saw no nation
just patchwork of land

& lake
map of jagged moments

legible, with time, from within



Over dinner my grandfather 
performs magic tricks, the napkins
vanishing and reappearing 
like a bout of mania or a flashback: 
gunfire, loss, some chilling order,
someone will not walk out
alive. His fingers sinewy
from forty years of sailor knots—
not steady enough to fool us 
anymore, but we are old enough 
to feign surprise. In the Depression, 
this sleight of hand bought him 
a meal or two, and into war, 
he continued: a saw to the box 
with a young woman inside. 
A heavy silence. Then 
the moment she rises dazzling;
it is only illusion, that violence 
at his hand. When we leave 
the restaurant he's pocketed 
a spoon. No one saw it disappear, 
quiet as a dove suffocated 
in some street magician’s hat. 


image: Aaron Burch