I want the hands of a street-vendor caught in the middle of a night market. That way, I will be able to trade ivory vases for a lifeline. I want to sell the history of this nation to the thieves outside the out- skirts, behind the neon billboards, broken. I want to be able to steal without looking back, without remorse or a mother to warn me to be a saintly daughter. I want to rid myself of a face, dried out and yellowed like a piece of parchment paper. To outline the borders of a country is to fold my forsaken name into starved skies. I want to unlearn the way a mouth extends into a crescent, then narrows into a river all too quickly. I want to forget the currents that run through my hands like scars passed down from my ancestors, a leftover currency for tragedy. I want to breathe them to life. I want to save my country. I want godhood. I want to stitch creation myths into the crevices of my hands and sell them at a nightmarket. I want to be left with nothing, not even my hands, not even this poem.
-- Jessica Kim is a disabled poet from California. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Diode, F(r)iction, Grain Magazine, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review. Find her on twitter at @jessiicable.