Poetry Suite by Hannah Kim

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, July 9th, 2020

"my teeth are not blades / but they are sharp enough"

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Poetry by Hannah Kim

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what on earth could be found
behind these false doors
the false bottom of a suitcase
the false teeth that chitter in my mouth
spinning yarns

if i looked beyond
if i dyed my nails with flowers petals
if i didn’t know how to butter a bagel
if i was spreadeagled and still wrong

 

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question—do some assholes feel themselves being assholes but still can’t stop? i
wonder if i’ve only been kind because i’ve been the underdog. if i had been beautiful
and popular at a young age would i have been a bully? i’d like to say no but it’s not
like i have limpid eyes devoid of cruelty. my friend and i are talking about imposter
syndrome and she is saying, “yeah and it’s not like anyone’s judging you anyway
when you fail” and i nod but i’m lying—i notice everyone’s failures and i’m quick to
assign punishment. this is tempered by how harsh i am with myself and how
stultifying and paralyzing that can be—but even then it feels inexcusable. my brain
is a bunker of failures, both mine and others. i store them like seeds for the new
millennium that’ll begin after this world dies. because, i don’t want to start from
scratch, a faceless amoeba, with no discernment and no capacity for snark…

 

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aren’t you tired of being coy?
irony is a cold cup of tea
and i am
a
sweetmeat
so you are foolish
to not want me

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my head
a diner of plates
spinning at top speed
orbits of anger and grief
rage and pain
gnashing of teeth, the like
lick it up—all the way up—up—then
pull on your boots and let’s ride
the tears we cry
the acid on my cheeks
cold showers
i don’t want to die
but neither did—they—
we believe
lies
like
my life is more!
my smooth skin and i have all my teeth
and a degree
MY LIFE
i lie
i lie on this bed

i wish it were a loaf of bread
to take me to space
acrid. acid.
rage clusters—and, and, toxins
suddenly—seeping in.

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i run my tongue inside my mouth
i bleed
my teeth are not blades
but they are sharp enough

it helps no one to hate yourself
you do it assiduously anyway

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Header image courtesy of Erik Jones. To view his Artist Feature, go here.

Hannah Kim is a writer, comedian, tarot reader and gemini. She leads literary seminars at Literary Arts, sells her zines at Jailbreak and performs improv at Kickstand Comedy. You can find her on Instagram @ur_best_american_girl.

 

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Sam Preminger

Sam Preminger is a Portland-based poet. Their work has appeared throughout various publications and they hold an MFA from Pacific University.