Section 2 ~ Issue 22bJENNIFER KWON DOBBS
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JENNIFER KWON DOBBS                                            

Northern Corea Postcard

US  

                             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.

 
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