2022 Commended - Seohyun (Amy) Shin, 'Hanbok'

I dream:


    hand stitched flowers leaning on the seams

of blushing silk, baby teeth sinking


into soft honey bean paste. Hair curled

    around a sliver of red pine,


around a slender nape of neck,

    a nesting Yong dragon.


    Thousand miles in western territory, me &

my mind are two halves of one


soulful reiteration of culture/history/origins.

    I touch my mirrored face and ask:


    Where are you from?


In the homelands:


    Grandmother washes rice in a stone bowl,

foggy water kissing her bony wrists;


dripping into the cracks of the

    floor, drowning smaller sorrows.


    A miniature Han river. Grandmother picks

through fish bones and the scent


flickers like a snake in the grass. Home

    has never felt so close, the skirt’s weight


    pressing me to the floor. Without this, I think

I would slip through cracks,


leaving only liquid loss, a caricature of her

    foggy Han river.