After 30 years

in America the men at work still speak
to my grandfather loud and slow. And he
says the men in his dreams now only speak
American too. He says the sleeping part doesn’t
bother him, dreams aren’t supposed to make sense.
I’m told he has this one dream where upon landing
on the runway the airplanes’ windows break open
and his passport flies into a crow’s mouth. In this
same dream he calls America home: he enrolls
in a night class to learn English so he can talk
about Kobe and Jordan during his lunch break
with his work friends. His daughter doesn’t get
teased at school for bring leftover kimchi jjigae
for lunch. She grows up and has a son who thinks
America is his home too.

Hunger Island 

 

In 100 words or less 

without touching my thinning calves, or pinching my sunken cheeks

prove that we exist. 

Don't say anything 

about the mango trees: their fruit has been past-sweet-rotten for weeks.

The sun says it’s August-

 

noon in every direction, 

I rebute: of course the sand has been burning all along!

What was it again, 

that saying, about truth: 

all the trees are falling but we take turns closing our eyes.

You hold my face

against your face,

and we try to explain the sounds, and the absence of objects.

This is the nonsense we need.

Sean Cho A. is the author of “American Home" (Autumn House 2021) winner of the Autumn House Publishing chapbook contest. His work can be future found or ignored in Copper Nickel, Pleiades, The Penn Review, The Massachusetts Review, Nashville Review, among others. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California Irvine and the Associate Editor of THRUSH Poetry Journal. Find him @phlat_soda

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