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From Phantom Pain Wings, which was published last month by New Directions. Translated from the Korean.

I don’t walk without music
I don’t wear a slip without lace

There’s a drum that bleeds when you beat on it
It doesn’t leave the dance hall despite the beating

Shattered sea with a shattered boat, shattered night
Shattered boat doesn’t depart

You must dance, holding a candle in front of Holy Father
Candlelight reflected in the water doesn’t wipe off the blood

Torment, rippling with torment, raises a pale bone at night
I don’t look back even when a lifetime of my faces call me

I don’t cry inside the water because it’s echoless
I don’t depart even if I’m not here


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June 2023

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