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the patron saint of grief spends halloween dressing up as somebody else

10.29.22 , 우리를 기억해주세요.1

When I find out, I pick up my keys to

go walking into the bleached-out sky. I wash the dishes

& let the taps run until my mirror-self fogs. I cut up fruit,

although not for the restless dead. Mostly I just sleep:

I dream that it is Halloween & that we can all be

whatever we want, even alive. The streets I love

aren’t coffins, only costumed in wreaths. The missing

rise back up from the pavement, still drinking down

the dregs of liquid summer, amniotic & alive

with it. Emily Jungmin Yoon says, and our cities today

glow with crosses like graveyards. God was imported

to these shores like any coveted object. Today, the difference

between a church & a hospital is not what we pray to or who

we pray for but how cold their bodies are. I wish

I could say I knew something was wrong. I remember

last summer, T barricading herself

in the Hamilton Hotel bathrooms, saying I’m so drunk

just leave me here, my laugh trampling

over the wide echoing mirror, listen we have to leave before

we get kicked out & on the main street when we emerged

the moon glowed crimson over our shoulders, backlit

by the neon cross of the methodist church.

My coworker who visited Seoul told me once, I was surprised

at first because your crosses were so red. Emergency beacons,

hospital lights. Red like something gone wrong.

110.29.22, please remember us. This phrase, and the poem itself, is in memory of the 158 people killed in the crowd crush that occurred over Halloween weekend in Itaewon, Seoul.


Editor(s): Luna Y., Blenda Y.

Photo Credits: Unsplash


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