Self Portrait Diptych as Animal and Womb
“These wombs belong to us, not the idiot creatures they are attached to. They were given to us by God to reproduce ourselves with. We need to look for ways to get these stupid animals to give us back the wombs they have stolen from us”
-Posted 23 hrs ago, Reddit
what flurry of knives/ what small gods beasting through the needle-grass and thorn-thistle/ whipping the deer flies into such fury/ what rare stones inside me/ what tessellating skin/ animal and performance/ what nephrite and bug glint/ blood mad and hunger/ whose womb wounds who/ not you/ not you/ what clot of hair and meat unzipped to sunset/ Poacher, what joy tears your face into a h(a)unting/ To you, the body: abstraction/ cruelty: abstraction/ the knife slips past the pelt/ a pulsing city lifted from my belly/ What beast would gift me this body and name itself God/ what borrowed rib and rain/ what stories/ what ownership of that which grows/ in another/
You, grinning as you squalor
your hands on my meat.
Nothing has been won.
This city, I will evacuate
until my ruler wakes.
Call down the girl from the mud-slicked mountains, pluck the evidence of August from her head of shorn kelp. This caterwauling girl, less man than animal. Cheeks smeared wild from berries she picked, the brambles at the river’s lip too giving. Doesn’t she know of the stained hand of generosity, never to trust it? Nothing is free. China doll. baby. Some men will want you prim on their knee: lips rouged bite red. The coal hue of your eyes irrefutable, your root, they believe they can taste: milk and spice, a winter sunrise fogged in the land of morning calm. But you are still a girl. With luck, the guilty ones will wait awhile. When the first blood releases between your thighs, they’ll come. You were born knowing to mourn this.
Jihyun Yun is a Korean-American poet from California. A Fulbright Junior Research Fellow, she received her BA in Psychology from UC Davis and her MFA from New York University. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, Narrative Magazine, The Adroit Journal and elsewhere. She currently resides in Michigan where she is working on her first poetry collection Some are Always Hungry. You can find her work at www.jihyunyun.com.