My mother, / a prophetess of God, my father, / village shaman / preaches all disasters are natural, / all of them tests from hananim / to test us Because / so don’t ask why Because.
April 6, 2020
Your room looks like it got hit
by a tornado, sometimes a bomb,
is my mother’s way of saying
that today, a natural disaster,
a tornado of bombs
went off again, and tonight she must
ask hananim with folded clutch
why she was born
other than to die-live [苦生] and hananim
answers in Korean, Because
and to my mother that is natural
disaster: a tornado of bombs
on schedule from dark to dark
signed, sealed, and delivered
by America’s sons,
her natural disasters.
to the mountains some moons ago,
his leg paid as ransom
in the natural disaster of war
waged on his body by
American healthcare against
the rite of die-living [苦生],
that tradition observed
by surviving generations
born to other clans. My mother,
a prophetess of God, my father,
preaches all disasters are natural,
all of them tests from hananim
to test us Because
so don’t ask why Because.
In Brooklyn, my lover says
your room looks like it got hit
by Hurricane Sandy, natural disaster
of our postsecular age, explained
by climate scientists as
too much rain, an act of God,
the worst disaster to befall
New York since 2001 anno Domini,
the year of Our Lord,
but hananim still says Because
and I know not to ask why Because
all disasters are natural
and who dares curse
the eyes of God spewing
both salt and hurricane
as natural as disaster is.
For the student demonstrators who died so I could learn
Ungrateful Pupil, Lazy Worker,
do you hear the sound?
Do you hear? the clicking
revolver revolving, click-clack,
ensemble of four, traded two for bones.
Barely an even trade, but click-clack
is the sound of power revolving.
Jeolla-do’s calling, click-clack,
shaking revolver tightens skin
to a tantrum of leather
waiting to be beaten, beaten
to the click of click-clack.
My blood drum will beat
until it’s beaten out; home
is an empty chamber filled
with smoke. Dancing ribbons,
redder and redder
beaten out, click-clack,
clicking turnstile spins
and I can’t go back because
the turnstile’s clicked into clack,
revolving again in clockwise rounds,
click-clacking a thousand revolutions
and I can’t forget the click-clack
of turning time, click-clack, bleeding revolver.