In dreams, your fists are in your pockets, pushed through
the seams, clawing into thigh and gripping muscles in handfuls:
Every night, I bury you alive, trying a new tool:
first, a shovel, but the handle keeps snapping
from the blade; then my hands, but my fingers
crack off and into the ground, burrowing themselves in.
Sometimes you appear behind me, pull yourself out
of the box I made for you when your parents refused
to buy you a casket. You rise up to hand me a hose,
and we make the dirt into mud, sinking ourselves into it:
the ground an open mouth, hungry to have you,
my hands on your face as we are swallowed down.
In dreams, I never ask you to come back,
but keep pulling at your tendons, the stiff tissue
in your chest, trying to burrow into the space
between your ribs and spine: the soft heart.
Jessica Kim is a queer Asian American woman who spend most of her days working with high school students and writing just often enough. She has been published in Sad Asian Girls Club Vol. 1, Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves: A Contemporary Anthology of Asian American Women’s Poetry, The Reader (Hampshire College), and was recently featured on Rock the Chair by Yellow Chair Review.