The Galaxy Beauty Salon

  • onJanuary 5, 2017
  • Vol.34 Winter 2016
  • byKim San


There is a woman who could be an elf.
Colliding with an unnamed planet, her home shattered.
To recover the shambles of her household
in the middle of the night
with only a pair of shears in her hands
she ran off to the planet called Earth.
She wets my dry hair,
and —shuck-shuck— expertly cuts my hair.
The woman trims the worries that branched out over a month.
She looks from left to right at the thoughts that grew out asymmetrically
and evens them out, centering me.
Occasionally flower-words blossom anew
and then seep into her smile
subtly like a lunar eclipse.
One day, she will sweep me away,
and return to the planet she came from.
She will put down the lacy Milky Way picnic blanket,
and gather her scattered family around.
Like how I am keeping my hands on my knees right now,
and receiving her care warmly,
she will tell her story of a distant star.
But for now, she is hovering over my head like a flying saucer,
brushing off the cosmic dust
meticulously, corner to corner.

Translated by Lee Ji yoon



Author's Profile

Kim San debuted in 2007 by winning the New Poet Prize awarded by the literary journal The Poet’s World. His first poetry collection, KiKi, was published in 2011. He received a writing grant from the Daesan Foundation in 2013, and the Jeju 4·3 Peace Prize in 2016 for Rope.