Four Sijo


The keys cut quick from ivory,
black teeth parallel yet never ———
It is you and I my love
in our wide-narrow bed

Not for us the tradition of burial yet
at their table your family has promised your place.


The Daughter’s Semi-Daily Violin Practice

Minuet in G—the virgin energy
of the strings under chin:
Child of my marriage, future of my
patient childhood. You shed me, stretch my skin

Metronome in its black case, "Never let me go, never
let me go—"



There were too many women
and children for the wind to eat.
A cottage industry without the cottage.
From under bridge to skyscraper. Wayfarers,

call me sentimental, but I prefer
crow over raven, pigeon to dove.



She understands that the suitcase
can carry more than one alphabet,
though they get caught in the teeth
of zippers, swallowed like tablets.

She unbuckles it before the mirror,
doubling them, reading backwards.

Sun Yung Shin (© 2006)