- POETRY -

CORNER STORE STILL | LIFE

Su Hwang

ISSUE TWELVE | SPRING 2019

Behind rainbow Skittles, Marlboros,

Whatchamacallits––a recessed figure

Pines: her profile scored by fluorescence

Like a knockoff Vermeer. Just as

 

Antique coins are painstakingly preserved,

She’s rendered motionless: boxed in.

 

Days endless. Hubbub of restive streets

Beyond tchotchkes & plexiglass ricochet

 

Off walls exalting the departed: framed

First dollar bill, photos of random

 

Strangers jaundiced with soot & wear.

She, a generation without proof of birth––

 

Not a single memento containing any

Modicum of mirth. Holding her tongue

 

With a fury untouched––a solitude so great,

She remains mighty in anonymity.

 

Tangrams of daily trade. Can anyone

Truly inhabit another––how meat

 

Of the body must be seized then cleaved:

Laid bare to be wolfed down whole

 

As it’s done in the wild.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Su Hwang was raised in New York then called the Bay Area home before transplanting to the Midwest, where she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of the inaugural Jerome Hill Fellowship in Literature, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, writer-in-residence fellowships at Dickinson House and Hedgebrook, among others––her debut poetry collection BODEGA is forthcoming with Milkweed Editions in October 2019. She is the co-founder of Poetry Asylum with Sun Yung Shin, and teaches creative writing with the MN Prison Writing Workshop. Su currently lives in Minneapolis.

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