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Fall '23

LOUISE KIM

if you have seen me recently, you know

that i am all over the place. i have not

written a presentable poem in weeks,

my to-do list is dreadfully overgrown,

and my loved ones are hurting badly.

someone i love passed away this week.

my siblings are killing my siblings.

my siblings are bombing my siblings.

these days, i am navigating torrents

of desire, suffering, numbness, rage, and

a profound inability to fully breathe in.

i can never stop my heart from drowning

what is in its vicinity—baptizing with

destruction. the world turns incessantly—

that reality i face every morning.

but there is simultaneous love to all of it

too. true, genuine love and admiration.

and beauty, beautiful people and beautiful

words. as much love around me as

suffering. i am sitting at a starbucks

when a woman walks up to me, striking

a conversation. she saw my hoodie,

her cousins graduated from my school.

these days i am grateful—i have been talking

with many interesting, thoughtful people—

hoping to learn from them, to take away

something. these days, i have begun saying

my goodbyes. i have too many goodbyes

to say. maybe i love too deeply. it is the

new moon today. a new cycle begins.

an old cycle ends. i must learn to live

as the moon does. yet i cannot stop myself:

each time, i cry as i walk away.

Louise Kim is an undergraduate student at Harvard University. Their Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net-nominated writing has been published in a number of publications, including Chautauqua Journal and Panoply Zine. Her debut poetry collection, Wonder is the Word, was published in May 2023.

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