Poems

SUPHIL LEE PARK
Morning Ritual

Ice is time’s way
to handcuff water.
Fog, god’s PVC bag.
We’re all in this
together. Analogize
more and the world
makes certain sense.
Follow the tongue
of versus and we’ll war
like two Koreas
until the sun drools
all over the horizon.
Anthropologize
any such nonsense.
Our universe someone’s
mini golf course.
Of course. I apologize
for being this
and that. What’s worse,
being or doing, 9-hole
or blackhole. What’s worse,
our obsession with lines
everywhere we turn
makes life a matter
of navigation instinct
with thresholds,
borders, crosswalks, stop-
-at-red-lights, please-
step-behind-the-line, better-
not-cross-this-line, pick-
up lines and punchlines,
who-shall-be-my-lifeline.
There’s a thin line
between time’s lapses
and release. A thin ice
to tread in the city masked
in unrelenting smog.
Time unclasped
is when we look
around and between
the lines. All that’s happened
was on the line
and already hung up.

Suphil Lee Park is the author of the poetry collection, Present Tense Complex, winner of the 2020 Marystina Santiestevan Prize (Conduit Books & Ephemera, 2021). She spent more than half her life all over the Korean peninsula before landing in the American Northeast. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in the the New England ReviewNew RepublicPoetry Daily, and the Iowa Review, among many others. Most recently she received a third prize in the Writer’s Digest short short story competition and won the 2021 Indiana Review Fiction Prize. You can find more about her at: https://suphil-lee-park.com/