I know I still believe

By Kyung

in people. That whatever gods
I choose, I choose to love
the foolish hands, stringing
their laughter through the river
as they ask water for rain
with the blessings of mugwort
and marigolds. Yet on days
like these, when I crinkle apart
the thinning mushrooms
to parse the edible from the aging
their smell lunges at me, claws
back into the memory of me, when
I turned him off his backside
to find shit stains from many nights,
my gloves shed like sheaths
as I bared my gaze, tore
with forked tongue toward the doe-eyed
nurses for what possible reason
could you give me for why
he has not been cleaned. The odor
sopping. As we turned him
off his backside. Mushrooms
I parsed out, tossed, wept bitterly
as the stove burst their heart open
to receive another offering. Bruised
air till the roots leak. That
was what he smelled like.

Headshot of kyung

kyung (they/) is a medic and leather harness maker living on Peoria, Potawatomi, Miami, Sioux, Kickapoo, and Kaskaskia lands in South Side Chicago. Their commitments delve into community-led crisis & street herbalism, liberatory practices of queer/trans care, and anti-imperial lineages of memory. Their poetry appears in Meridian, Sonora Review, Radar, Tiger Moth Review, and elsewhere.

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