Chi Kyu LeePoetry / Number 101
Comparing apples to oranges—
that’s why our codeword
became [orange]. ∴
Apples are straight
but we never used [apple].
(The logic is tenuous, I know.)
The waiter holds a pair of tired
fire-tongs & his scuttle hanging
lower than usual. (The soot
smells different from soot-bul—yet I crave
bulgogi still.) He roams, looking
for dead coal. Hookah-aerosol screens
off our part of this unofficial [orange orchard].
You chin-point at a [fruit]:
“Do you think he’s [orange]?”
(or “he’s a [orange]”? an [orange]?
What is included in those brackets?)
As a secondary safeguard,
we say the codeword in Arabic; I reply
“I don’t think
We are [orange]. I am [orange]
but, in front of mirrors, I still
Chi Kyu Lee is a poet. He was born and raised in Seoul, Korea but grew up in dorms all around New England. After graduating from Cornell University in 2020, he is pursuing an MFA degree in creative writing at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. He (inexplicably) has a website: www.chikyulee.com.orange by Danilo Alvesd