There you exist in water.
Unending sketch and erase

of waves on the sea surface.
Today, you’ll be all the words

I wanted to say: look, they’re so
pretty in that second they

surface. You almost didn’t
see them. You didn’t see them.

Sinuous, so commitment’s
a strange shape to hold and take.

I loved the water of you, the snake of
you, everything amorphous and short-lived,

as I expected nothing to last of us.
But when the waves break I still call them by name.

Copyright 2014 by Hannah Sanghee Park. Used with permission of the author.

translated by Muna Lee

Yes, I move, I live, I wander astray—
   Water running, intermingling, over the sands.
I know the passionate pleasure of motion;
   I taste the forests; I touch strange lands.

Yes, I move—perhaps I am seeking
   Storms, suns, dawns, a place to hide.
What are you doing here, pale and polished—
   You, the stone in the path of the tide?



¿Y Tu? 


Sí, yo me muevo, vivo, me equivoco;
Agua que corre y se entremezcla, siento
El vértigo feroz del movimiento:
Huelo las selvas, tierra nueva toco.

Sí, yo me muevo, voy buscando acaso
Soles, auroras, tempestad y olvido.
¿Qué haces allí misérrimo y pulido?
Eres la piedra a cuyo lado paso.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 17, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

When the bare feet of the baby beat across the grass
The little white feet nod like white flowers in the wind,
They poise and run like ripples lapping across the water;
And the sight of their white play among the grass
Is like a little robin’s song, winsome,
Or as two white butterflies settle in the cup of one flower
For a moment, then away with a flutter of wings.

I long for the baby to wander hither to me
Like a wind-shadow wandering over the water,
So that she can stand on my knee
With her little bare feet in my hands,
Cool like syringa buds,
Firm and silken like pink young peony flowers.

This poem is in the public domain.

Far cars, numerous.
Lullaby (by a lull)
and I pretend (I-10 as ocean).
And dream (DNA remade)
and dream. Maker
(remake me), better me
this time.

And wake
to a chorus of one
courting through
alarms, beeping,
trilling silver, song.
Mating call after call
(no answers, no takers).
And now it collects more
and further from nature.

Desperate thing (who is the pitied?),
what did you think would happen
(happiness). Was this your dream?
What you long for has long
left here (and what you left for—
not long for here). Because
you didn’t think it through
(you never do, do you, as you do).
Get a life (fail to).
Get a move on (been eons). Curse
I served (in vesper). Asker
(no answer). Prayer (no taker).
Little mocker (my broken maker).
What is taking you so long.

Oh aren’t you something (I wish I was).
Aren’t you someone’s (if I was)

I would not try someone else’s
song. How sad (they said). My heart
goes out to you (this long?). No I
won’t be long (that same song),
or someone’s song (oh but
my heart goes out to you).

Little mocker—
Broken Maker—
what will you make of me now.
(But I am of you).

Chorus or curse,
I am of you until
my heart goes out.

Copyright © 2021 by Hannah Sanghee Park. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 13, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.