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She hardly sleeps. I doze deep into day.
I tell myself I’m not avoiding her
but know my avoidance outlines the shape
of our banter over stone bowls sizzling.
A Korean history professor
told me a story about a young man,
a climatologist at SNU,
who was kidnapped by the army that May
of the uprising, my mom’s senior year
in the dorms. He was forced to read the winds
to help distribute tear gas toward the mass
movement. They’d armed themselves with old rifles
from colonial artillery sheds.
Thousands of dragonflies dropping like tears.




Image: Mar del Este,한국어:5.18 광주민주화운동 기록관 사진 (English: Inside the 5.18 Archives Hall)



Jed Munson is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Commentary on the Birds (Rescue), as well as several poetry chapbooks, including Minesweeper, winner of the 2022 New Michigan Press/Diagram chapbook prize. He is a former Fulbright scholar to South Korea and current fellow at the Library of America in New York City.




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