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Tending the Speculative: Poems from the Asian American Adoptee Diaspora

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, inquiring into a poetics emerging from the adopted diasporic condition, guest-curates a portfolio of poems for The Line Break.

By The Line Break



A broad black market 
	The women are urnfields
The children are binding out	 
	Dark in the trains, a burning mouth to eat a shovelful 
	of black diamonds

Leak blood, trickle milk, time weeps
	Going over the falls
Washing to shore, done and undone
	Law-and-order, over the falls

Body paint, black ink and brush, state and subject
	Eat silver and sugar
Tobacco hair and a hospital all in gold leaf
	Baby Jesus in the alley, bright baby in a bullet

Time branching everywhere like hair
	Custody this antebellum apprentice
Rows of graves—keep spilling the liquor
	City of the dead, written from right to left

The women stand image and likeness
	The women occur copy and heir
The children, recorded, a homestead of lung and eye
	Museums of burials, the underground of giving birth to birth





Sun Yung Shin is the author of two collections of poetry, Rough, and Savage, and Skirt Full of Black, which was awarded the Asian American Literary Award in 2008, both from Coffee House Press. She is a co-editor of the anthology Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption and the author of Cooper’s Lesson, a bilingual Korean/English illustrated book for children. She has received grants and fellowships and has published widely in literary journals and anthologies. Shin was born in Seoul and has lived in Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis, where she currently lives and works.