Ginger Ko

When the heat of the day

           is being cooked up by the night preceding

I ask what writing has to do with suffering.

          He asks what writing has to do

with creating or understanding.

         We are both selfish.

Why do we crush things down

         when the universe is flying apart?

It must be the dramatic absence left

          by star death that tricks us.

Heartbeats lurch into my head.


          Thick plates of ice crash

fish still alive shudder in the crumbles.

          When I think of extracting my obsession

from its utter diffusion in my body

          it would be soft

as melting wax

          thick as milk.


To write is to show that I think

          there is something worthy inside me.

We found each other by chance.



         We found each other by chance

though we could only have found each other.

         I was too much.

I was a part of the noise in his head

        that he wanted to silence.

And the noise he made in my head

       he wanted that back too.

I was using him to tell about myself

       to feel alive.


My letters are a loupe on my heart

        a heart that is changeable and self-serving.

Perhaps you, reader, are my intercessor.

        I am offering these words to you

though I know the offering

         is also an attempt to claim

and take for keeping. You can resent this

         but I can flex the part of me

that was trained by subjection

         this routine of convincing you of my beauty

ahead of your seeing me in the world.

         I know that you can only tell if something belongs

when it tricks you

         into looking like it belongs.

I can go ahead and give you the still shock

         the death-bright forest

the starling outside the window

         that squeals for the chains of a swing set.

Found In Volume 50, No. 06
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Ginger Ko
About the Author

Ginger Ko is an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University's MFA program in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing. She is the author of Motherlover (Bloof Books) and Inherit (Sidebrow).