I read a Korean poem with the line “Today you are the youngest you will ever be.” Today I am the oldest I have been. Today we drink buckwheat tea. Today I have heat in my apartment. Today I think about the word chada in Korean. It means cold. It means to be filled with. It means to kick. To wear. Today we’re worn. Today you wear the cold. Your chilled skin. My heart kicks on my skin. Someone said winter has broken his windows. The heat inside and the cold outside sent lightning across glass. Today my heart wears you like curtains. Today it fills with you. The window in my room is full of leaves ready to fall. Chada, you say. It’s tea. We drink. It is cold outside.
From A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Emily Jungmin Yoon. Used with the permission of Ecco.