Your parents practice a small exodus
after your birth. They tie
to a black dune, their fleecy wing
tips cover your eyes.
They offer their livers
and your liver to your neighbors
and God. Only he doesn’t take them.
Instead, he chooses to coo
loud lullabies every night
over your questions.
Taste it, taste it, he sings even now.
From the corner of your mouth
the essence of miracles dribbles
thick as oil.
Self-portrait as Portrait
who are you, little i
you, i suspect
were made tentatively: exact
assemblage of organs, emotions—
complete with little
i mean, you were someone who cried
when your korean was young, asked
your father not to call you an ingan human
because saram person
was the only word you knew.
every day you invite me to join you at the edge
of every edge, and i do, my ankles
frail for your touching,
clumsy geese of three wings:
one for itself, one for the world,
one for strangeness.
you call me inconvenient,
like all beautiful things are.
and i see you
the entirety of the sky as your face
Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, AE HEE LEE received her MFA from the University of Notre Dame and is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming at the Georgia Review, New England Review, Southeast Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the author of Dear Bear, (Platypus Press, 2021) and Bedtime || Riverbed (CompoundPress, 2017).