While

Lim Solah
Translated from the Korean by Oh Eunkyung & Olan Munson
I go to drink the vending machine lights. I insert the coins I was fiddling with. I like how the machine lights up. I like shaking hands with paper cups. Warm as newborn quails. I like engraving teeth marks on the rim. I leave the cup on a chair. It becomes trash, becomes a letter.

I like how raindrops call out to me tenaciously on stormy nights. I like how they call my name twice. My name which is hard to pronounce. I cast off clothes to pretend I don't know my own name. I like pulling those clothes over my head. I like my body thawing in the downpour. Assailed by that downpour. I like how demons and angels below the Catholic steeple corrode in equal measure.

Raindrops will collect in the paper cup letter. The drops will gather and engrave a cloud. The abundant spring-green hands of a sycamore tree will flutter. This is how it gestures both farewell and fare well. This is how I leave while I stay.

Feature Date

Series

Selected By

Share This Poem

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Print This Poem

Share on print
Photo of Lim Solah

Lim Solah is a writer from South Korea. She is the author of the novel The Best Life (Munhakdongnae 2015), poetry books Grotesque Weather and Good People (Munhakgwajiseongsa 2017), Get Packing (Hyeondaemunhak 2020), and the short story collection Snow, Person and Snowperson (Munhakdongnae 2019). Her work has received awards such as the JoongAng New Writer’s Award for Poetry, Munhakdongne College Fiction Prize, Sin Dong-yup Prize for Literature, and the Moonji Literary Award. Lim received the Arts Council Korea’s Young Art Frontier Grant in 2014.

Photo of Oh Eunkyung and Olan Munson

Oh Eunkyung and Olan Munson are freelance translators and graduates of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. Oh works to introduce contemporary Korean writers to an international readership. Munson is a PhD student in the department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. In 2017, they won the Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Commendation Award in fiction for their co-translation of Choi Eunyoung’s short story “Xin chào, Xin chào.” Their English translation of Grotesque Weather and Good People is forthcoming with Black Ocean.

Cover of Salt Hill Journal Issue 45

45

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University

Editors-in-Chief
Jon Lemay
Sophie van Waardenberg

Managing Editor
Allie Hoback

Poetry Editor
Divya Kirti

Poetry Assistants
Joel Francois
Joe Phipps

Salt Hill is a biannual literary journal publishing outstanding new fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art by people at various stages in their literary and artistic careers. We publish new and emerging writers alongside those with long, illustrious careers in the literary arts.

We are interested in work that represents a broad spectrum of experience. We believe it is critical to lift up the voices of writers and artists who have been traditionally underrepresented in the literary arts. As such, we feel an urgency to read and consider work by people of color, women, queer people, non-binary folks, and anyone else who has been marginalized by the institutions which have, for so long, dominated the publishing scene.

Salt Hill is produced by writers in and affiliated with the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University and is funded in part by the College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate Student Organization of Syracuse University.

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.