Joey Kim


Capital feelings while riding the D.C. metro


her word for it was Loneliness-- 
bliss in this 
place of going came in 
waves of taut shadows, 
shadows in flight by night and  
forced darknesses. 

here she lacked 
the blinding strobe of Recognition, 
the willful exposure of open air—

this Loneliness shot through her suddenly, 
a beacon to reorient the gaze of 
her Sadness towards and 
away from and to 
those moments of presence embodied by 
first glances, brushed breaths, the absolute
escape of air through her singing teeth.





Note from St. Bernard de Clairvaux, Miami

This light is like
Soothing rain on a Tuesday 
Wrapped up in the wet glow of 
Seasonal reason. 

The air moves inaudibly through
The cracks and cradles of stone
Blowing eddies in Eros
Sensing bodies feel too much
Here the writing resonates relief,
The cool occasion of being found. 




Only Now

Nothing will change
But this flickering stoplight
Amidst a panoply of electric heat,
Chokehold fumes and doubtful sounds.

Everything has a meaning in the right
Context, but context is a dirty word, soiled with the stains of impermanence, a muddled middle Ground for apologetic living.

Doubt feeds on arrogance and stasis; I wish it was different but
I can't run from
Something inside.

Hide, maybe, or solipsize,
And herein lies the inconsolable rub, the fate-
ful prize, the tickle like noncommittal breeze of being here but not:
That change breeds the world but in its spawning
Obscures the possibilities in the steadfast now.



Absent Here

Her word for it is "here,"
The state of now that glows
With the distended gird of eyes
Seeing songs in the shadow slivers of the streetlight’s gaze.

"Here" she has not been
Long, not enough gone
Through the indeterminate swamp of "here" but there,
There, the cadenced pasts of pain,
Pulling her back to her shame,
Full of guilt masquerading as choice,
Freedom in action? That’s only a salve.
We act and put the work in, heads down, hearts muted,
Eyes distant from this moment towards a mirage that is always
Already lost.






Joey Kim is a Ph.D. student in English at the Ohio State University. Her research interests include British Romantic poetry, Romantic Orientalism, gender and sexuality, and postcolonial studies. She has taught composition and literature courses in English with themes such as the rhetoric of storytelling and nineteenth-century women writers. She earned her MA in English literature at the Ohio State University and is an avid reader and writer of poetry.