"Curtain" by Kim Yideum



Being born or dying, either or both might be a revenge

on a person, sent from somewhere far far away.**


You part your lips. Like a fly landing on broken glass, you lick my curtain and your pants get wet. You, a fish swimming between my lips, forget your lines like a doll and tremble when the curtain goes up. Finally you’re torn apart by my tongue, controlled by my whispers.


Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with me as if you’ve been targeted for revenge from far far away. O my actor, you hold my face, mesmerized, as if it were a prologue, a script. Your expression looks innocent, as if all you are doing is licking off my lipgloss. How deep are you falling? Our eyelids close as we kiss


A farmer covers his potato and garlic fields with plastic. Transparent plastic, semitransparent plastic, imported pink plastic. I’ll pay your daily wage after you finish covering everything. I puncture holes in the plastic so that the dirt and sprouts can breathe. The land is barren. It might rain. The farmer hugs me, and with his garlicsmelling snout, he


When I left the darkened rice mill, the mak was gone. Some woman was crying. The audience was alone and the stars twinkled teasingly. ...

Kim Yideum has published a novel, a travelogue, an essay collection, and five books of poetry. She has received the Kim Chunsu Award, 22nd Century Literary Award, and the Kim Daljin Changwon Award. She held a residency at the Free University of Berlin in 2012 and at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia in 2016, and participated in the Stockholm International Poetry Festival in 2014 and the Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in 2015. Action Books published the English edition of Cheer Up, Femme Fatale in 2015.