Ashley Kim

Mom and Dad

Angel’s Landing
Rust ledges, layered thick slabs of pork belly. The ravine welcomes the high school suicidal thoughts the hotline warns us to not have. The water below a black hole. I am scared of black holes because I fear nonexistence. The rocks are red. Ppalgan rocks, I’d say to Eomma. But she’s not here. I refuse to die for two reasons: the Bible says murder is a sin, and Eomma would remember me. As if I was a remnant of the bitter pit clinging onto an overripe peach.

Han Sung Korean BBQ
Galbi painted with sticky marinade, intermingled with rice and lettuce. Grandpa gives me more. He doesn’t speak English but I think he loves me. When I asked Dad why he sold Grandpa’s house, he said he needed money. Dad plays poker and says it’s a real job.

I have no time to say goodbye to the living room, baptized by the smell of worn polo shirts. Golf trophies, an automatic dispenser thingamabob, clubs. The old house had a collection of half dollars. A disheveled kitchen. A transparent paperweight from Las Vegas, laser engraved with Dad and Grandpa’s faces. Side by side, they look like father and son. We eat in silence. Grandpa had a stomach ulcer. He can’t eat too much flavorful food anyways, or food at all.

"Swirling" by Jeffrey Letterly

Ashley Kim is a Korean-American writer located in California. She is a recent alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Spill Stories’ anthology entitled Powerful Asian Moms, Hyphen Magazine, Stirring, Autofocus, and FEED, among others. Find her on Twitter @ashlogophile. Soli deo gloria!