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Two Poems by Jack Jung

There was no difference where I went.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday
January 11, 2022

I Come from a Country


The course of a bird split the heaven in half.
A gesture at the end meant another movement
Ahead or above like a rope from the heaven.
And in the city, under the faint streak in air,
Some thought it was an illusion
There to deny what was beneath the wings.


And in the fragrance blowing in the wind
When you are uncertain where you are
Blooming fields of memory fainting
Turn to the slope of the wind curving ever unseen and 
Intoned by many. Find what others risked. 
Each step a bitter claim to life’s breath.


There was no difference where I went.
I was always sinking into dark green sea
And pebbles gleamed. Startled by hard waves,
We were as identical as stones rubbed smooth.
Black tides of a newborn swelling,
I prayed to be where I wanted to be from.


Night after the bridge fell into the river
Its steely ruin floating up as water rippled,
When asked if they will remember 
No one lifted their eyes. Debris never
Sank deep. You can come back over it.
I have lived with the fact that you can come back.


A butterfly flies into a bookstore.
A bestseller is flying off the shelves.
We are in hurry to know what sells. What’s got legs
But an insect with its tiny and thin, fine pen nibs 
Scribbling red. Is it its way of attacking?
Or greeting? The scale-winged insect unfolds
Like a folding fan, winds blowing 
On tongue playing every scale. A face with a beak
They don’t teach you in school, ready with wings  
Marked with wandering eyespots that never blink
And this butterfly is my Venetian mask.
Remember how this is where you buy something?
The underground bookstore is a grocer,
Books laid out like fruits. Overhead lights
Are buzzing bees. I once held a bee 
And got stung badly. I could not make a fist.
I am not making a face soon.
I will spit for a while to get this wing powder out.