Painting by Seon-Jeong Kim
Age 5: kindergarten journal
countless mornings trying to blend brown and yellow
orange and white
attempts to find my skin color.
When you blend a rainbow, you get brown.
The result: my self portrait was not of myself.
My eyes are not coffee, not chocolate,
but river delta mud
obscuring riots in my mind,
the constant warring of color, sound, pounding bass line.
You’d think that years of evolution would have conspired to stop making eyes that leak fear.
I wonder if my eyes aren’t a mirror but a magnifying glass.
I, an undefinable creature,
forget who I am.
A specimen under a microscope, wastes away in the harsh light.
It dies in the end—
the bug on the glass in the light with no name.
On becoming a poet, I thought about my choices:
Was twilight my favorite time of day because we were both in between?
Was special just another way of saying that no one understood?
I’ll always be in the next state of comprehension,
never fully holding acceptance in my hands.
Always out of reach,