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In the morning we went on a hike into the woods -- poetry by Julie Rhee


we disregarded the trails -

a. gazed over the intimidating cliffs of Gwanaksan

b. stared at the high-rise condominiums mother couldn’t afford

c. walked away from the gravel ascending to the known

d. picked the berries hanging above oblivious of its safety

e. drank the water from the stream laughing off the eerie aftertaste

f. feasted on a deer killed from nine badly shot bullets

g. used my sister’s tweezers to take out the metal pellet, one she had just used

to take her white hair


at night we vomited all our organs out and disappeared into the soil below the crooked tent stood empty in the forest full of korean maples their daunting shadows hiding the remains of that day it is somebody’s birthday this morning and somebody’s death maybe while happy birthday is being sung eulogies are given someone tears open the wrapping paper someone cries into the ghost still lingering with life and we walk down the street as we did yesterday and the year before


you know it's funny the way her leg tingles she sits on the front porch facing towering buildings ahead how the breeze kisses her skin and leaves her out in the cold the harmonies of birds is just another migraine her long goose-feathered coat doesn’t stop the chill spreading throughout her body and she is left alone sitting on the front porch holding letting her frail arms rest on the frozen pine-- until they are numb


Juheon (Julie) Rhee is a 15-year-old student and is currently attending International School Manila. During her free time, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie’s mysteries and hanging out with her friends. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in K’in Literary Journal, Indolent Books, 580 Split, Lunch Ticket, Cleaver Magazine among others, and has been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs.

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