Tobi-Hope Jieun Park

Lighthouse Lamp (Victoria Waddle)

the way we fold

In a dream, we rest in the woodpeckered hollow of a white gumtree,
heels dancing on bleached bark, fingers crooked over nook’s edge,
there is a whole grassland beneath us;
your face glows blushed in the savanna light
             (beautiful as always)

I remember something. Your smile used to be left handed,
like a ripple,
young and bluey and drawn from the dark of a desert well.
             Sweet then, sweet now.
It has since evened out, as water does.

From a shirt pocket, a pair of lungs is procured. Then another.
They are shiny, sponges, oiled and supple-soft
             (a Trade)
A child would’ve filled mine with butterflies, but you are no child, so you
stuff them with peacocks until
i am breath-bursting with bright blues and emeralds and false eyes.

You are delicate,
Your fingers fold one bird at a time
             (head over wing)
plant them in alveoli and wrap them capillarily. Oh—a present!
And yes, there are quills but only when you are gone.

I don’t remember what I gave you. Only that you were grateful.
             You are always so grateful—graceful—careful.

Thus, we are
             Have you ever watched seeds germinate?
             Of course you have. But we are
juvenile, and I like it that way; shy. tentative. clumsy-curling during early spring rains

We burst from the loam together.
I am not afraid of you but when we
break the surface/seal the trade/pull apart
you leave me
and even outside of dreams you are
as always.

Type II

I hate the way our
skulls fracture like
light thrust into prisms,
photons rattling about between
Crystal lattice

they reopen fontanelles
in my hairline but you are a dyson
locketing around a
pocket of strange matter as we retch
our cores and tremble



Today I held out a cob of corn and held hands with an elephant,
I looked into her eyes and she looked into mine
And for a second I thought she loved me but
She just wanted the corn.

Makes sense.


Once you’ve seen one rice paddy, you’ve seen them all.
At least, I think so.
Maybe it’s because I don’t own one,
But as the Balinese fields ripple past,
I imagine growing rice must be like
Raising children;

Feeding them, cleaning them,
Disappearing on the road.


Some call it loneliness,
Some call it a hernia,
I call it a hole right below my heart that fills up with people but
Never reaches full capacity.
And at parties, I don’t lose myself in the music
Because music is a tourist and
I am Boston

But it does like to nap in my concavities,
Like a cat.


A pastor once told me that if you don’t fit in → not for this world →
the otherworldly =
the bright and beautiful ones
(Be the salt and light, my beloved)
but I beg to differ because
The congregation picks us out with their eyes closed,
Fingers perched like radio antennae

So when I pray,
I mumble in megahertz as a
Signal fire burns through my palms.

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