Esther Kim is a sophomore currently attending the Holton-Arms School. She was first
introduced to poetry in the fifth grade. Since then, poetry has changed the way she
views herself and especially the world around her. She has been recognized by Teen
, Scholastic Writing Awards, and more.


i. bada
is ocean,
is two hands pressed
tightly pinky to pinky,

is the sympathetic groan
of a quiet and cracked home

ii. umma and abba
bring us in to quell what storms
have flooded our floors

when the waters die down
in the black hours of november
umma says,
don't be a housewife.
she tells me she's twenty
years too old for her skin,
tells me she doesn't
have any hair on her legs
and hands

iii. in korea
on a day like this,
umma says,
you and i'd be sleeping
at hami's house


held in the palms of
a mustard moon


I nibbled on exquisite as if it were
persimmons, flossing out the little
bits that held on and saving its
caramel for a tale...

There were always author's teas at
the old school by the winding roads.
I'd listen to the whir of the radiator
as faraway letters dazzled on my
cheeks, rolled off with its vines
spilling twirling curling out. They
danced on unperforated notebook pages,
pencil marks frivolous and frilly.

I clutched this English like talismans,
tasted its sweet between teeth and
sat on checkered mat by lamplight,
where spineless tongue and—where
we—fit in the breath of
quiet serendipity, of
radiator whirs, of

and listened.

table of contents

inglenooks leaking blues
pastors check for wrists
left in the drain
like hair circling

mercury drips from petals
of green plum trees
huddled in the wind

2:46 charlotte to washington d.c.

this kind of sky
the kind
where i can pick at the cars like hangnails,
pull out coiled fairytales
from backseats. i
unwind their pages,
wait for their melody to trickle away
golden kites

like fluorescent signs by the
road that


and go.

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