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POETRY

For the Second Time in Thirty-Three Years

  • onAugust 3, 2016
  • Vol.32 Summer 2016
  • byChoi Seung-ja
1984


For the second time in thirty-three years
I resolve to escape from myself.
First I detach my head
place it on a shelf.
Take off my arms and feet
put them on my desk and
detach my torso, seat it on a chair.
Using only my creaky knees, I steal away furtively
and start a desperate run.
I run on and on and run some more
when I can run no longer
when I want to be still, to rest
someone walks ahead of me.
I run to them seeking pity.
Let me rest in your arms awhile,
and, if only I could,
softly, as air escapes a balloon
softly, let me die in those arms.
They walk off pretending not to hear.
I beg them again for pity and
at last, reluctant, as though it’s bothersome
when they turn to look back at me

There it is......
my own crumpled face.