The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Sea Lions

By Suji Kwock Kim

Out of albumen and blood, out of amniotic brine,
placental sea-swell, trough, salt-spume and foam,

you came to us infinitely far, little traveler, from the other world—
skull-keel and heel-hull socketed to pelvic cradle,

rib-rigging, bowsprit-spine, driftwood-bone,
the ship of you scudding wave after wave of what-might-never-have-been.

Memory, stay faithful to this moment, which will never return:
may I never forget when we first saw you, there on the other side,

still fish-gilled, water-lunged,
your eelgrass-hair and seahorse-skeleton floating in the sonogram screen

like a ghost from tomorrow,
moth-breath quicksilver in snowy pixels, fists in sleep-twitch,

not yet alive but not not,
you who were and were not,

a thunder of bloodbeats sutured in green jags on the ultrasound machine
like hooves galloping from eternity to time,

feet kicking bone-creel and womb-wall,
while we waited, never to waken in that world again,

the world without the shadow of your death,
with no you or not-you, no is or was or might-have-been or never-were.

May I never forget when we first saw you in your afterlife
which was life,

soaked otter-pelt and swan-down crowning,
face cauled in blood and mucus-mud, eyes soldered shut,

wet birth-cord rooting you from one world to the next,
you who might not have lived, might never have been born, like all the others,

as we looked at every pock and crook of your skull,
every clotted hair, seal-slick on your blue-black scalp,

every lash, every nail, every pore, every breath,
with so much wonder that wonder is not the word —


I'm (re)watching the series finale of Dawson's Creek, after rewatching the entire show late nights as a far more relaxing alternative to late night shows (as immensely confirmed for me last night by Jon Stewart on The Late Show), and it is surprisingly engrossing even though I first watched it nearly two decades ago, when I was less susceptible to its nostalgic charms. Even the later seasons suffer from the pull of nostalgia for the earlier seasons.

My Tuesday involved things like some annoying work, a trip out to mail a package and buy bagels, a walk and a spotting of one of the neighborhood baby bunnies, Beyond Burgers for dinner, and watching Voyager's "Investigations" with my Tuesday group (more fun than I remembered), then Superman and Lois (made unintentionally hilarious by DC Entertainment's official declaration this week that their superheroes don't have oral sex). Here are the sea lions at the National Zoo:

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2021-06-12 14.53.16

2021-06-12 14.52.46

2021-06-12 14.57.14

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2021-06-12 14.55.33

2021-06-12 14.53.29

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