Issue 2.3

Fall 2022
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Christine Kwon

A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue

           

            I saw a river once


So I can summon one


            Close your eyes

 

What can you not summon


            I live inside a summons


High up in a stone tower


            From the window


I see a blue river


            Like the one I saw in Mostar


As a tourist  

            If you come to my party


I will say thank you

 

            For answering the summons


I will show you

 

             Edna Saint Vincent Millay’s sister’s copy


Of her collected poems


            With flowers


From steepletop


            Taped inside the cover


But let’s say we’re not at a party


            At all but in


A cathedral


            Because you’ve seen one once


And you remember

 

            The people chattering


It is a tourist cathedral

 

            There are velvet ropes


Blocking off


            The sacred


Let’s say the hem


            Of mary’s dress


Is blighted white


            In one ripple


As if the sun has


            Tortured it


For years


            With relentless


Fixation


            Now you see


Where I live 


            In some


Spotless

 

            and

Christine Kwon writes poetry and fiction. She lives in New Orleans. She is the 2022 winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize. Her first collection of poems, A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue, is forthcoming from Southeast Missouri State University Press in spring 2023.

Christine's Book Recommendations

Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawada (modern take on ancient tanka form)
Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon (mommy problems)
Yi Sang (sexy, pretty, early 20th century modernism)
Sorrow Arrow by Emily Kendal Frey (young American, like Michael Dickman vibes) 

Masayo Koike (her poems are on Poetry International)

Reflection

This poem is about living in language, being contained in a word.