Audrey Song: “Ode to K-BBQ”

Ode to K-BBQ

quintessential American meal / pork belly with the white people pandering / samgyeopsal sizzling on your Instagram stories / infantilize hot steamed eggs actually twenty year old grown cocks / proud of my nation you stomached / ignore doenjang jjigae you couldn’t / yellow corn and mozzarella make statistically weird couples but she’s just so submissive / commodified culture and be grateful about it / what should I order. / you’re the expert?

quintessential ABK meal / in the kitchen windows / opened meat smell seeping through screens / kids close your doors /   this is mine   / hot oil spatters skin like angry girl tears / I cry but keep eating because the brisket will burn and I’ve waited too long / to worry about dead cows hanging from hindquarters / keep politics out of the pan. / oppa’s grown so we get / three orders of chadol not five / somehow it feels like more people are / missing

quintessential Korean meal / halmeoni was just admitted to the hospital but my dad eats his beef and talks baseball with mom and / we let him / my plate’s not clean but / I think about guest beds and grieving too much / so there’s no room but / i promise i ate enough. / no one can see you cry in a grease fire / when your tears turn to smoke / and if I burn my knuckles on the grill / you cannot  ask about / the bruise beneath.


This is a series of writing to come from the amazing teen writers who were part of CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts) 2023. For most, these will be their first publications. (Featured photo originally posted to Flickr as 횡계 한우 3)

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