Mornings of marrow and oolong oiled

mother-of-pearl from too much milk.

          This is how we heal.


Fingers sugar-tacky, we eat the day

cloudless, watch mayflies thrust upwards

          to a blue the hue of thirst.


Your lip, a crushed berry, spills

its wet cerise. You say Even this can be

inherited, by which you mean,


Be strong. Azalea and baby’s-breath

drop petals on the nightstand

          like fly’s eggs.


Through your bent nose, your voice

a mosquito’s as you sing:

          Man is ship, woman is harbor.


Day by day, I gaze towards the sea.

But we are landlocked beasts.

          Mother, I too envy any selfish thing.

J.H. Yun is a Korean-American poet from California. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Narrative, Fugue, River Styx, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere.