by Kim Hyesoon, translated by Don Mee Choi



Marilyn Monroe

Don’t say that I lived in a world as pure as the movie screen
that I flew on a silver plane to go and
lie down on a bed as clean as the inside of a mirror
and put my hand on my forehead  
that I lifted up my willowy willowy skirt

We return as pigs
We snap back onto the pig magnet that eats and shits

Don’t say that I pinned a flower in my hair
lay down on my icy death bed
inserted oxygen tubes and buzzed-buzzed frigidly cold
We return as hot pigs
We return for our final act
The act in which our fingers rot even before we lie down in our coffins

Don’t say that you and I made q q sound roused by the fireworks
that left no ashes even when they burned burned
that we hatched like white butterflies at the cliff’s edge
the sound of a puddle inside our body splash-splash
but that it all sounded slightly different
that we washed our outer body with water daily
and washed our inner body with blood
Dirt collects between our toes
and a box sealed up by sleep gives off a stench

Therefore I stick to the final act 
The act in which I shit out my body, splash on top of what I have shat
The act in which my soul escapes then I’m hooked on a metal hook
The act in which I can taste my own tongue as I get mashed up

The woman carrying in each hand a bag of pig hearts
keeps walking and mumbling the same story

One drop two drops of urine-like rain are falling


Lips Stuck to a Landmine

Oh there goes a filthy bitch
there she goes after she’s been beat up
Oh there goes a dazzling damned bitch
running away
Oh there goes a bitch shiny-black like a sewer
taking off

People with whips swarm in Stop the bitch!

I want to live alone
The discarded bitch
pig-like bitch
runs off

This is all because of the water in the dirty sack
she cries

I also don’t like the sack filled with this water
she drools

Someone embraces Pig then slaps its cheeks
This filthy pig makes me mad, filthy woman

Filthy filthy filthy I’m so filthy
I should just live in my dream, why did I come here?

Die, Pig!
Why do you suck on milk?
Why do you grow up?
I wouldn’t if I were you
Master comes and feels how thick your fingers have become
how your flesh has plumped up
I wouldn’t grow up if I were you

Oh there goes beloved Pig
It’s chased out

Oh one woman is trying to come out from Pig

Don’t touch don’t touch don’t touch Pig anymore

Halved black Pig
There goes a shadow hanging onto her

Bloom, Pig!

Has to die even if it didn’t steal
Has to die even if it didn’t kill
Without a trial
Without a whipping
Has to go into the pit to be buried

Black forklifts crowd in
No time to say Kill! Kill!
No time for the blood to splatter onto the shit-smeared walls or light bulbs
No time for the piglets just popped out from the stomach to get skinned and made into cheap colorful shoes

No time for the pale-faced interrogator wearing dark sunglasses to yell Fess up! Fess up!
No time to gamble with terror as if skipping rope, whether I can survive the torture or not
No time to bite the flesh of my mouth as if biting the hand that’s hitting my friend’s cheek in the next room
No time to tie up hands and feet and pull my head back and force water into me
No time to say Mommy please forgive me, I was wrong, I won’t do it again
No time to put a towel over my face and pour water from a pot
No handcuff or strap

Every night I read my country’s history of torture
Then in the morning I open the window and sing loudly at the roofs below the mountain
How could I possibly forget this place?
I have Pig who needs to be rinsed with a song then go
Dear Song, Please stay stuck to my body for 12 hours

A horde of healthy pigs like young strong men get thrown into the pit

They cry in the grave
They cry standing on two legs, not four
They cry with dirt over their heads
It’s not that I can’t stand the pain!
It’s the shame!
Inside the grave, stomachs fill with broth, broth and gas

Stomachs burst inside the grave

They boil up like a crummy stew
Blood flows out the grave
On a rainy night fishy-smelling pig ghosts flash flash
Busted intestine tunnel their way up from the grave and soar above the mound
A resurrection! Intestine is alive! Like a snake!

Bloom, Pig!
Fly, Pig!

Boars come and tear into the pigs
A flock of eagles comes and tears into the pigs

Night of internal organs raining down from the sky!
Night of flashing decapitated pigs!
Fearful night, unable to discard Pig even if I die and die again!
Night filled with pig squeals from all over!

Night of screams, I’m Pig! Pig!

Night when pigs bloom dangling-dangling from the pig-tree