…The same day my period began
I discovered the poet Kim Seung-hee.
I happened on the book at lunch in the library
attracted by the title Life Inside an Egg
which me & a friend chuckled
about because we'd had eggs for lunch
& because we knew a rumour that one of the girls
in the library had an abortion we didn't understand.
I skipped mathematics
to hide in a cubicle | sobbing as much
through my panties as my eyes.
Why hadn’t anyone told I’d bleed like this?
The cozy | walled interiority of childhood
bulldozed & the austerity of adulthood cusping me.
A teacher found me truant. I rebel-sulked their anger & disappointment
“Young girls who pay attention to such nonsense
turn into spinsters without prospects.”
It was a bi-lingual translation | I was as rapt
by the English as by the strength of Seung-hee
to mock the nonsense on TV & puzzle the interiors of eggs.
The teacher paid no mind to my cheeks blush-tracked with tears.
That’s the mentality of an all-girls school
with a religious chip on its shoulder
—it commands your attention while filling the air with ghosts….