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사소한 약속들을 그러쥐느라 잎사귀를 놓쳤다

난간이 놓친 빨랫감들 도처에서 얼룩지며 펄럭였지
빨아 널어두어도 금세 더러워지는 꽃잎들

어떻게 팬티 한 장 없이 이 봄을 건너나,
입술로 체온을 더하고
손끝마다 일렁이는 초록을 내어주면
그 얇고 허망한 직물을 엮어 속옷을 짓던 손이 있었다

옅은 바람에도 온몸을 뒤집어엎는
봄이라는 계절의 안감

속옷이 필요 없는 계절이었지
혼자만의 혁명을 저지르는 왕국에서
떠나는 요일들 투명해지는 발자국들
취한 눈으로 사랑과 거부를 동시에 말할 때
벗은 종아리가 수치로 떨렸다

우리는 꽃그릇에 손을 담근 채 증발하는 자
치마를 까뒤집던 꽃들이
태양의 먼 어깨 위로 투신한다
나무들이 입던 속옷을 벗어 깃발처럼 흔드는 정원에서

 
 
 
 

No Panties

Clinging onto trivial promises, I lost a leaf

The railing lost my laundry, which flapped and stained everywhere
Flower petals sullied so soon after I wash and hang them out to dry

How can I cross this spring without a single pair of panties?
When I offered a swaying green to every fingertip
and warmed them with my lips,
a pair of hands wove that thin, futile fabric into underwear

The lining of spring, the season
that uncovers bodies at the slightest breeze

It was a season that didn’t require underwear
Days departed and footprints turned transparent
in the kingdom where I started a revolution for one
When I, with drunken eyes, spoke of both love and refusal
my naked calves trembled with shame

We evaporate, soaking our hands in a flower bowl
The flowers that flipped skirts
now throw themselves over the far shoulder of the sun
in the garden where trees take off their panties and wave them like flags

Lee Hyemi and So J. Lee

Lee Hyemi (b. 1988) made her literary debut in 2006, shocking the literati of South Korea by winning the JoongAng Literary Newcomer’s Prize in her first year of college. She has published two collections, Ultraviolet (Changbi Publishers, 2011) and Unexpected Vanilla (Moonji Publishing, 2016). Lee is currently a PhD candidate in Korean literature at Korea University.

So J. Lee is a translator and the creator of chogwa, a quarterly e-zine featuring one Korean poem and multiple English translations. Their translation of Lee Hyemi’s Unexpected Vanilla has appeared in Words Without Borders, Modern Poetry in Translation, Korean Literature Now, and Asymptote, while their translation of Heo Su-gyeong’s Time of Bronze, Time of Potatoes is forthcoming in Two Lines.

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