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Measure for Measure, October 2016

Images

what stuns you what tears into you these images that make your eyes bleed i can’t imagine going through without having in my possession the sight of you on monday mornings your face open and floral, pressed into cotton every small death you may have endured melting snow and my back coiled from you in bed, knowing what the light can do to you, mythologized creature, unforgiving thing silent night beneath contaminated skies pure story of your touch that is forever ungiving, too private and close to grief so i turn away from you, over again like dead leaves sinister rivers that flow incorrectly

— Laetitia Duler

The Meaning of Trees (for Ben Parker) “Bible” than in “tree,” I have not grasped it. My god is not of substance. My god is an absence which I have kept locked up, forgotten among memories of poor acoustics and the unknowable mysteries of the booming voice; there were several voices, they came at me from all quarters, they told me to repent the crime of my humanity, they used words I don’t understand, they told me to stay awake, not to sleep at night, not to sleep but in the embrace of God—which I interpreted and practiced by falling asleep in church—to dream incessantly, to speak, not to voice, to voice, not to speak; I learned about angels and aspired to become one, I hardly spoke or ate, I practiced my flight on the swings, I spread my fingers against glass and willed rain into my lungs, if only I could have drowned by God’s work I could perhaps come to understand why it is that leaves bud on my arms in spring, why birds come to perch in my branches, why I grow cold each year and disappear, why we grow crooked and lined with age, why love of life seizes me only so long as there is light by which to see my fragile veins and brittle bones.

— Jean Kim

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