Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


from “Hardly Opera”

—tête-à-tête of flowers—

(still at the ambassador’s garden party in the middle of Seoul)

ROSE OF SHARON

How do you do
Mr. Ambassador?

 

DECLASSIFIED FLOWER

How do you do?
Modern style?
I do

AZALEA

Overly ovaries!
General Kim
How do you do?

 

ROSE OF SHARON

One shot!
No spots!
How many baby azaleas?

UPI FLOWER

Did something happen?
The world wants to know

 

ROSE OF SHARON

Syngman Rhee has left for Hawaii
Modern style of course!

UPI FLOWER

Do petals fall and bloom again?

 

UGLY FLOWER

Tell the world
We want
Coty powder!

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

O totally tether!
Does it tatter?

 

CLASSIFIED FLOWERS

O patter matter!
Do you batter?

BABY AZALEAS

O Coty potty!
Hoity naughty

 

FORSYTHIAS

O pat her met her!
Does she natter?

ROSE OF SHARON

I’d rather batter

 

BLUE HYDRANGEAS

Yes, ma’am


—end of tête-à-tête—

Credit


From Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Don Mee Choi. Used with the permission of the author and Wave Books.

Author


Don Mee Choi

Don Mee Choi is the author of DMZ Colony (Wave Books, 2020), among others. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize.

Date Published: 2017-12-08

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hardly-opera