12.2 / FALL/WINTER 2017



Pepper paste stamps
her crimson. It seeps up


her wrists, forearms, elbows,
so I leave. From my room


I imagine her knee deep
in the kimchi, nestled against


the steel bowl filled

with cabbages painted red.


She sprinkles the pepper flakes

speckling her skin.


She massages her temples with paste caked hands

kneading color into each hair


depleted of its blackness.

I walk downstairs & peer into the kitchen.


Her hands—only

her hands disappear


between the flakes & minced prawns.

Pruned fingers lift each layer of leaves


lathing the kimchi

as if stroking my hair.


I twist five glass jars open,

line them up along the table,


& watch how she cradles each cabbage,

laying them down in glass every winter.


Su Cho received her MFA in Poetry and MA in English Literature from Indiana University, where she recently served as the Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in The Journal, Thrush Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, BOAAT, and elsewhere. She will be joining University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s PhD program in the fall, and you can follow her on Twitter @su__cho.

12.2 / FALL/WINTER 2017