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.
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.