OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 12

Jessica Kim

Whalien 52

               with lines by BTS

 

It’s strange how the beach in winter 

               makes her even lonelier. The girl treds 

into water in search of a mouth, 

               lips blubbered with petroleum. In a dream, 

mother said the ocean was blue but

               pools murky water between her breasts 

and drowns. Let the girl confess, 

               how she has never told this to anybody.

She wonders what loneliness does 

               to her voice, mutated into a hunger for

absence. She wails into the curvature 

               of her backbone, sculpted with abandoned 

girlhood. On the other side of the earth,

               even the blind whales can see her. A lone whale 

upturned and alienated in the middle 

               of the ocean. How loneliness turns into 

something you can see. A whalesong, 

               in rotation but without a response, 

a signal that does not reach her. 

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Jessica Kim is a disabled poet from California. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wildness, Diode, Cosmonauts Avenue, Jet Fuel, Longleaf, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review. Find more of her at www.jessicakimwrites.weebly.com and @jessiicable on twitter.