Year of the Yin Black Rabbit

Bo Hee Moon | Poetry

My substitute
father spoke

about his male

I read about
the folk charm

of picking
rare fruit

from a pink
tree that has

been dormant.
Apple and apology

sound the same
in Korean

사과 (sagwa).
Where I

used to live,
wild apples

heavy on

the branches.
My body

my years

of sadness.
I succumbed

briey to
the melancholy

of a city

by water. In Korea,
women burnt

their fallen hairs
for protection.

Skin and hair
comes from one’s

ancestors. Nowadays,
I’m making

for abandoning

my body. Korean

says angelica
root stops

the bleeding.
All this

is to say
I’ve lit incense

for my dead omma‘s
altar. Warming

my earlobes
with night-

songs, watery
radish kimchi

is for winter,
a boat ritual

is for a baby
with an earache,

a baby who
cannot sleep.

Note: This poem includes and adapts language from Na-Young Choi’s article, 
“Symbolism of Hairstyles in Korea and Japan,” appearing in Asian Folklore Studies.