1 poem

by Dohyun Kim

Dohyun Kim is a Korean-American writer and high school student from Los Angeles, California. An attendee of the 2019 Kenyon Young Writers Workshop and the 2020 Adroit Summer Mentorship program under Gabriella Tallmadge, he is now a Peach Seed editor at Peach Mag. Dohyun is a firm believer that American cheese does not belong anywhere near instant noodles.

secondhand memory

Next to the freeway exit someone’s orange tent blossoms

into gray smoke. It is a Tuesday night in the city of angels

 

and on the other side of the Pacific my mother stands

on a night road outside her father’s house staring at

 

a silhouette fraying into cigarette butts. Its skin a mosaic

of red river and splintered wood. Also a car, bumper bent

 

over a signpost. What stares back are the eyes of a dog

in a photograph. The fire is a metaphor. Fire,

 

photograph, house. I, meanwhile, am hurtling towards a man

musing about his troubles to understand why the sun

 

sets red in a cloud of smoke and why I can only smell

a backyard barbecue. My mother tells me later she woke

 

to find her bed cast in brimstone and that

she doesn’t know if they ever caught the arsonist.

 

And I picture a house on fire.

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