AFTER I LEFT Korea

*published in the 2017 City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide (p. 111) http://culturela.org/programs-and-initiatives/city-of-los-angeles-heritage-month-celebrations/

My heart began its million year fast

late night rendezvous unfound

peeks darkened street corners

final subway trains

eternal Saturday nights

drunken Seoulites fight snowy midnight taxis

find movie theaters

hair salons

24 hour speed ramen

noraebang, spas

until 530am trains

bring new days.

 

My heart traveled Busan bullet trains

devoured beach film festivals

watched bad Korean movies

non-descript streets,

crooked, stone cobble alleys

corner markets glimpsed

simmering sundubu fogs glasses.

 

My heart flew across the Han River

drank overpriced appetizers at The Havana Monkey

friends crowded plastic covered booths

dodged Psy’s Gangnam hagwon students.

 

My heart closed its meditation eyes

Buddhist temples chant 3am

remember times kept alive

friends’ laughter dines on Korean BBQ, gogi jip

smoky, poorly lit January street kitchens

 

My heart felt August cold air conditioners

monsoon flooded shoes

July sweat drenched heart memories

coming going friends

revolving subway doors

 

My heart’s million year fast

stays alive

after great grandchildren hearts

awaken buried memories.