|JENNIFER KWON DOBBS
Northern Corea Postcard
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.