Machine
guns
between their brows—

blood flowers bloom.

 

               Child of summer
dawn—

               tracing
horses in the mud.

 

               Midnight

               Skylarks

under storm, ferrying

               bodies one
by one.

 

               Rage

Volcanic
               ash

covered highlands:

               jittery dance
of
the jewel beetle.

 

Sunflower

               petals,
falling on a

black mass
               of

ants.

Copyright © 2019 Ryan C. K. Choi. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, May/June 2019. Reprinted with permission of the author.

A cloud of flowers!
Is the bell Uyeno
Or Asakusa?

 

 

 

                                              —Translation by William George Aston

This poem is in the public domain.

          from Swedish, the path moonlight lays over water

The ghost child fastens
his mouth to yours,
breathes your breath
from you so you cannot
cry out.
               He drew you creek side,
where you hung terrified,
gripping the deep-shaded
undercut bank above wild
rushing water, until finally
I heard you, came running.

What the drowned boy wants forever:
his mother, in time.
What he found:
a playmate his age.

                                   You,
eyes the color of seafoam,
the shining helmet of your
bowl-cut hair bright as
mångata over dark sea.

Tell me, lost ones: When
the moon melts, what
will we do with all that gold?

Copyright © 2017 Cathie Sandstrom. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.