Cindy Juyoung Ok




No action is told in a Buddhist poem,
but I’m not a Buddhist and this is only


a part-time poem. I won’t lie for a line,
not even to say someone owes you


desire. The feeling of the South is the feeling
of being in the middle of nowhere


and it being quiet—it’s an alignment
issue, and a crowding problem.


Then the cloud architects get greedy
(the rest of us agree cops are haram).


My foot stays broken, my finger still bent,
but as you know I’m not a runner,


not a pianist. I like a socially reasonable
amount of blood and discipline.


It’s early, it’s blue—let’s take a fantasy
of fusion and eat off the ground


while I keep faith in trains, and other modes
of tchotchke distribution.




Harps can be rented

and vague like all cities

hope to be and besides,


dignity is not my priority

right now. The book on how

light behaves bedside,


weeds still sheerer

uncombed. Doled and

arranged evenly, they become


wed to the grave dances

and scrape snow, in chant

form. I hem the cove,


arrange the chalk, its

scrapped occasion, because

out in the blue, helmed


by cover and coast,

most come to an image

margined—the way we


choose our parents (that

is, eventually). Me, my

body makes a plan.


CINDY JUYOUNG OK is from California and now lives in Iowa, where she writes, translates, and teaches creative writing.