Youth Poetry

Yoon Park: Three Poems

we are all just stars that have people names

I’d steal the stars to hang them in your room.
I’d pluck Orion’s arrow out of the sky
And paint you across miles of constellations.
You’d say mind the tip and I’d dull my edges for you.
You’d ask draw me the sky and I’d map your face
Because your upper lip is Aries’ golden fleece
And your freckles are Neptune’s 14 moons.
If nobody wrote stories about your stars I’d make them
Beautiful over Andromeda’s name. You’d say you make me
Sound like I was a hero; I’d say but you were mine
I’d weave your constellation onto strings
Made from the taste of peaches tenderly plucked
From moonlight lips only
If you’d let me.

They say the dead shine brightest
When they are remembered;
How I’d hang the stars for people to remember
Your name.



Dear whomever it may concern
I left my wedding ring and pinkie finger length of my dignity
and my Hawaiian-shirt penguin bobble head with my sense of direction
along with three lottery tickets and a list of my previous and future failures
in the plane seat I threw myself out of without regard:
I just wanted you to know. Only
okay, it’s not just that I wanted you to know
I just wanted you to find them for me but it’s just an offer after all
no really, you don’t have to but it would be nice
if you did. You know what’s funny
whomever it may concern is that if I
got a nickel for every time that I decided to just jump a way
out of my own problems I’d have two nickels
which you know, isn’t much but it would be weird
that it happened twice. Only the first time
wasn’t me leaving all my stuff behind in the cupholder
like how I leave my car keys and an ounce of a small abrasion over
what would no doubt develop into an impressive but inconsequential
knot anyways. That first time I left all my scars and chances in a bucket
and drowned it in a river in Williamsburg County where everyone could see
but that’s not important, because it’s always the second attempts that last longer
in history books or the newsletter and what everyone wants
is to be remembered for the grander
even stupider things
whomever it may concern



Nobody taught him how to build machines out of paper mache and skylight
and how to kill with chess board pieces and craft with soap bubbles
yet everyone watched through a memory
that wasn’t theirs as he built a ship.
He used to tell people that they weren’t only geniuses
on earth; knees folded around base, chisel and a hammer that told him
he was in control—only, he could not be because he only sculpted
when he was too desperate to say that he was, cheap spirits
sunbathing him in pearly whites and an unhealthy habit
and a fake smile that lined up with a foot, switching tools
with an efficiency that he only borrowed from a dead friend
his hips dragging the floor and painting it red and blue
fitting into the colors like wearing thrifted clothes
there was someone here before him. He’d been here
hundreds of times, he knew how this went: she wanted a blue room
he said yes. Alright. Won’t forget. She wanted a bed as big as this
he said deal. She wanted a skylight exactly like this one
he said exactly like this one; it was his way of apologizing.
Nobody taught him that he couldn’t build ships for ghosts
how silly. Because soap bubbles were supposed to be pretty, fragile things
not the proof that he just lost the universe; maybe
he ought to start sleeping in the garden instead of a bed
with the dogs and the drunken dancers. And maybe that’s why
she asked for a skylight. But he couldn’t know for sure
he played a song on his glass with his ring
that even he didn’t recognize. He didn’t ask
she didn’t say it and they both left it unspoken because
it was prettier that way. Maybe in this dream he ignored her and moved on
the Expectation stared at him from across town with ghost eyes
and left him in an unexcused contradiction
that he would now represent.

What are you looking for?