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issue 4


2 poems by
Sun Yung Shin
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No End of Tears

We are crying the tears of a novelist, or a musician
specializing in repetition
and refrain. I am crying after eating
the novelist's gestures of incompletion, a neck of despair, of voices
not in the head but in the sternum, of the brown-red
mallet tapping for the right reflex, right riff, right random
resting note. "A lacuna,"
they say at the poetry conference. Something
for us to fill with multi-syllabic Latinate
words like cricket legs. I am crying at the way
the protagonist ties his shoes at his father's
funeral, the way he looks
down at the way
the shoelaces with their fraying headless
terminations lie
in the fake grass like dried worms. I am crying
thinking about those father-son
fishing trips, even the one in which the son gets
a hook stuck in the fatty part of his hand and the way the father
turns white. I am crying at the way the son's mind
changes after stumbling upon his father
in the dark backyard with a woman
who his not the son's very own
mother, upon coming across the money under the blue
pinstriped mattress, the buttons' multiple
white eyes and the tie
rack with its jury of silk, witnesses of silk,
at rest. These tears
of a novelist I will take them to the natural history
museum and pin them under
the butterflies and moths and
find my curatorial loupe of magnification,
prettification, my novel has so many
wings and only one spine. A sharp
pin for this species, this
sobbing novelist.

The Auditions

I dream that everything outside my body is auditioning
to come inside, rest from the raving
mad exposure. I think my skin
large enough: tent at dusk
numerous enclosures, mouths
zipped or breathing, waterproof
  as a dog on a leather sofa- a fork in the spoon-
shaped depression-
ink, barrel, and panic of disappearance-
a wet-blind calf inside its shining mother-
lost leather glove inside a dark woolen sleeve-
(anxiety inside anonymity - malaise inside misappropriation)
my finger searching your virgin mouth-
words lowering themselves singular
    down the shaft of your throat, deciding on the twin lungs or the

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