SHARKPACK Poetry Review

An imprint of FATHOMBOOKS.

#NeverTrump: 30 days of poetry by American women, queers, & non-whites. 8/30—Kwak.

from This Having Been Earthly Seems Lasting


I don’t believe in corpses.

But I can’t apprise the corpse of my disbelief.

A corpse is an old body, a body in which belief has been extinguished.

In the material world, where belief has no purchase. The material world,
where your belief only serves to make a thing unreal.

Unhappy are those who believe without seeing.

     Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my
     finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I
     will not believe (John 20:25).

A corpse for touching, smelling, seeing, cannot be believed. An object to
be looked at—cold, or soft—hot, or obdurate—under the palms.

Material things are not for belief but for touching, smelling, seeing.

You can disbelieve the corpse all day and through the long night. In the
morning, there it lays, there it lies, under your eye.

All through the long night, when the necessity of speaking of the corpse
overwhelms the desire to speak of the body.

Your own corpse is always in your future. In this way, it excites belief.

Never will you say: wen I was a corpse, and did such-and-such.

As if corpse could be an object of poetry.

Never will I need to apologize to your corpse, or tell it: how I wish
I had. . .

Your corpse is also in my future: you, whom I address. Your future
corpse suscites my belief.

As you excite my desire to address you.

Your corpse is in my future, or my corpse is in yours. In the realm of
contingency, future corpses vie. In perpetual competition.

But one day I might choose to believe. One day our corpses
will walk in the garden.

     They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the
     time of the evening breeze (Genesis 3:8).

Our walking in the garden in the coolness of evening.

Shan’t our corpses walk together there too?


—Youna Kwak

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