I watch you from behind, waiting to shrivel around
your shoulders when you curl them into the bleachers
of the gazebo. Its roof is a cone of kiwa, baked clay tiles
about to slide off the slope and crackle into the ground,
and the graying wood of its floor no longer seems enough
to hold you and your friends playing tag. As you tuck in
your knees, I rush to swathe you in my darkness until
the only light streaming in is between your ankles.
In this cave, I bear sounds of the parting children on Sagwa
Playground and cars returning on Jeongail-ro as magpies
start to sing the beginning of sundown, but you don’t
recognize them. I sag down your arm like a flap of inked
skin when you’re reaching for that sunflower cup
where its golden petals are slipping away. We pick
on the thinning strands of hair that couldn’t bite
into your scalp and splash them away into a tangle
on the bleachers. And I linger there for a while.
When you eye the setting sun, my ink crisply traces
your risen body from behind as your gaze trails
behind the running children along their shadows.
Seungbihn Park is a 16-year-old student who is currently attending Cheongna Dalton School in South Korea. She was born in Switzerland and lived in the U.S., the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. Her poems have been awarded by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and published by Trouvaille Review, Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine, and the WEIGHT journal.