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E. J. Koh

E. J. Koh is the author of A Lesser Love (Louisiana State University Press, 2017), recipient of the Pleiades Press Editors Prize, and the memoir The Magical Language of Others, forthcoming from Tin House Books in 2020. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

By This Poet


Jeju Island

Everything in the beginning is the same.
Clouds let us look at the sun.
Words let us watch a man about to be killed.
The eye-hollows of his skull see home.
When they stone him, 
he knows what a stone is—each word, a stone:

The hole of his nose
as dark as the door I pass through.
I wander the halls numerously.
He’s no longer my grandfather in weight.
Among old bodies piled high, they aim. 
Living can tranquilize you.