Section 2 ~ Issue 22bJENNIFER KWON DOBBS
line placer leaves simply
JENNIFER KWON DOBBS                                            

Northern Corea Postcard


                             Demilitarized Zone
S unsized 2215outhern tourists strain to take shots of the real NK soldier


who led you to this balcony. Don’t cry, she said on the stairs,


They win when they see you cry. So you gaze at a plank


marking the center between north and south. You study the wood’s grain,


its slightly skewed position due to time, and you guess its weight,


how many winters it lay there in the sand witnessing


the same spectacle patrol its length. You want to measure how far


to your father’s house in Seoul, your mother’s house in Daegu


to your hotel in Pyongyang near the Ministry of Commerce—maps


that prove you know the intimate distances that bind your heart here


to the young woman’s standing next to you. Her stoicism is not yours,


yet her advice feels true. They win when you see only tears.


*For Caitlin Kee.

line placer leaves simply