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Poetry, Louise Kim

be bodily, be ambitious. be the footsteps walking with a pointed

destination. i pray that the night will pass alright. i don’t like

the sound of that. i mean the sound of violent breeze forcing itself

through the branches. one day, god will offer me another promise,

when it is no longer perpetually dark outside, and when i find

a safe body. i look for hands to hold, eyes to meet, cheeks to stroke.

i am always wary of shadows, and their fears. and when i get home,

i immediately strip to my skin and cry under the covers. corporeal

punishment. fingering a rosary, embody dreaded anxiety anticipation

for the next day. i await my doomsday. the executioner is here.

always. my hands are my own, and besides, there you are anyways,

texting someone with such glee—you must be bantering 

with a lover. going out? at this hour? watch out—the stone 

staircase is worn and slippery. tonight, there is too much rain.


Louise Kim is an undergraduate student at Harvard University. Their Pushcart Prize- and Best of the Net-nominated writing has been published in several publications, including Frontier Poetry, Chautauqua Journal, and Panoply Zine. Her debut poetry collection, Wonder is the Word, was published in May 2023. You can find her on Instagram at @loukim0107.


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