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15: Cindy Juyoung Ok

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.


by Cindy Juyoung Ok

We keep clans to avoid
and I know how (to braid).
Eating fish cheeks is bound
luck, which exists if you would

want it to (true, there are studies).
Some of us here are lanterns,
representing things always.
The itching scar is news

of healing nerves (back
in the shade, we must risk
at times the timing of the oak).
There is an architecture we duck

but we don’t know it (I do direct
the birds come night, you count
branches, pay grass, be swift,
share what we shouldn’t,

like this jacket). To waver
is to admit a gaze can char,
that I do not have the power,
and some bugs survive winter

as words through translation
(suspicious is the traction).
Better, when this worn,
to be continged upon.

Copyright © 2020 by Cindy Juyoung Ok, This poem was originally published in Conjunctions Issue 75 (Fall 2020)

About the Author

Cindy Juyoung OkCindy Juyoung Ok is the author of Ward Toward from the Yale Series of Younger Poets and an assistant English professor at the University of California Davis.

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

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