“I was invited to a dinner” and “Sagrada Família”
I was invited to a dinner
1Note: In preparation for her passing, 김점분 (Jum Bun Kim), my maternal grandmother, gifted me three notebooks she had used to study for the United States citizenship exam. This poem was written entirely from screenshots of pictures taken of those notebooks (circa 2000). She passed her citizenship exam on the third try.
with a line from Li-Young Lee
Lord is waiting. Lord is resting. Lord loves to remind me we are not equals. In Barcelona, red cranes took to the sky scaffolding the Sagrada Família. I saw Lord at an Instagram famous bakery, under the spires of the crowned cathedral. Lord was waiting in line for the viral bread like the rest of us. “See how I humble myself,” he said. But he was the only one among us without a surgical mask. Overhead, from trees cornered into cement cubicles, leaves fell. And one, with a pointed apex so sharp, cut down the air in slashes near my face. I winced instinctively. Every year, millions pilgrim to see the incomplete cathedral. Why has the work gone on so long unfinished? Lord. First, it was death of Gaudi. Then, the Spanish Civil War. And now, COVID. Lord loves to say “It is finished” halfway through the work, leaving us on the other side. Someone tell the Lord we are capable of engineering our own silence.