Adoption Day

By MARK KYUNGSOO BIAS

Even if the sky collapses, there will be a hole in it.
Korean proverb

Our cat died before the towers fell.

No one was in the ground yet
when you were

close to coming home. Mom said you couldn’t enter.
Said our country couldn’t trust

the planes. The mother mouth shut to everything
but the wind.

When you close a country, eventually
nothing inside climbs out. Nothing inside

except what climbs out of us. America said,
This is what happens when we let them in.

I swore I would protect you.

Dad reads the homily on the fifteenth anniversary.
Says, God turned

a cloud of smoke into a ring.

A little Korean boy falls through the halo;
a black cat in a shoebox.

 

Mark Kyungsoo Bias is a Korean American poet and educator. He is a 2021 Tin House Scholar and a recipient of the William Matthews Poetry Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Asheville Poetry Review, Best New Poets, The Common, PANK, and Raleigh Review, among other publications. He is currently an MFA candidate and REAL Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a poetry consultant at GrubStreet. Find him on Instagram @markbias.

[Purchase Issue 23 here.]

Adoption Day

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