Chiwan Choi

my name is wolf (undone)

the air / with the season / changes around / the shape of me / bringing terror / and fears familiar / like the light // when you are ready / break my surface / with your tongue on fire / swallow the earth / inside me / until you find my home // i am lost / where bones / intersect / i have been lost / endlessly / even reaching / the water / at the edge / of the world / only to find / the brutality / of a horizon // these hands / open / the trembles / are my language / trying to tell you / that the land / is your skin / browned / pulsing / a rhythm / that god / has prayed for / that this wreckage / is my body / in an endless war / with my heart
undone /// undoing /// it begins between bones between breaths lost to panic /// skin // sin /// how so much of what makes me is inescapable /// where is my forest / the place that annihilates / then soothes my body / on fire / with an endless winter /// undone /// untouched /// how will i recognize the life i have lived / scattered on pavement / cracking under the weight of all / that has been killed /// the flowers / in their second bloom // or the beginning of another loss /// undone /// unmade /// unforgiven /// we were happy / in a time and a place / that exists less each day / there are photos that tell me stories / that this story can be true /// undone // soon // undone /// you say my name / as if there is a lifeboat / between the letters / that have spelled me / wrong /// undone /// shattered across life / and lifetimes /// i don’t know where this goes /// i can’t remember how i began /// undone /// how do i begin to love myself / this thing so long /// undone
this morning in secret / when you put on my shirt / did my skin speak to you, tell you / this: what i know is / the dark universe that // always held this secret / between us from us / that for most of this life / i didn’t know how to be / what god or chance meant for me // when you put your scent on / this surface which i could reach / i heard you say to me: breathe / and tell me how it / feels to learn that what / you love is saving you.

chiwanchoiChiwan Choi is the author of 3 books of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House (CCM, 2017). He wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, ONTHEBUS,, and The Nervous Breakdown. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press and a member of The Accomplices. Chiwan was born in Seoul, Korea, spent his early childhood in Asunción, Paraguay, and now splits his time between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. He is currently working on a new book, my name is wolf.

Link to Table of Contents