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After the Funeral

The chrysanthemums on your mantel
wilted today though we thought
they never would.

It’s a wonder the stems,
thin as a saury’s spine could hold
up the heads at all in full bloom.

Your wife is a fish hook
her face immutable, but her eyes
lance through the mourners. Your last

years took fistfuls of her teeth,
her body determined you would not
erode alone.

Sundays for the Faithful

And so it was familiar, these sorts of snaggled drum beats beating uneven
against the bible we laid across the snare to silence its rattle. If God gave
us money we’d tighten it. Or rather, we’d pray away from our adolescence,
these pews, his honey-dumb face turned up to crosses. Practice always goes this way:
Pastor begging us to care. And we, too young not to barter, barter. Thirty minutes
for chump change, 79 cent chocolate dipped soft serve, other meek exchanges
to strum strings, beat broken drums, sing hallelujah like we get it; and after
Pastor blesses us all in his candle-warm way and we think that Sunday is for the faithful,
sundering. The first of us is sexting in the foyer. The second goes up and sings broke praises,
and I, the third consider the pastor. Fancying it night, and myself nude,
I watch him bloat whole and huge, rising in place of the moon.

Sundays for the Faithful pt. 4

Thirteen again, sun baked wild childs on a youth group outing,
we rock the hoops we swiped from Claire’s with our cutoff short shorts
with exposed pockets, make the eyes that grownups make at each other
in the movies before fucking or dying at the boys who pass us,
but what do we know of why their whistles make us scared. Pastor says
abstain, says sins of the flesh, says hell. But when we see the boys
with their strong corded necks that make us crazy, we want and we do not.

We decide against rides and roam the boardwalk, flirt our way
to free cherry popsicles to stay our steady overheating.
We stain our lips jam red and when Pastor sees, he makes those eyes,
kind of hungry, and says who have you been sucking for your lips to be so flushed?
When we say popsicles, he asks if we made sure to thank the lord before eating.

J.H. Yun is a Korean-American poet from California. She is currently a second year M.F.A candidate and New York University. Her poetry can be found in The Winter Tangerine Review, Print Oriented Bastards, The Tower Journal, and elsewhere.

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