LOVE, UNENCOUNTERED

Jessica Kim

for J.



On the small screen, I watch lover boy

fall for Seoul city girls he’s never


met. One moment, they live in opposite

universes and in the next, they trade


glasses of champagne for confessions.

I tell myself this only happens in


the movies but still move to Seoul with

suitcases full of satin dresses, pearl


necklaces, partially-finished love letters.

Sashaying into a bar, I see dozens of


lover boys labeled on display only. Still,

I introduce myself as Korean girl.


Did I mention we’ve never met before?

He says I look elegant and over-


polished, another way of telling me

you shouldn’t be here. Later that


night, I google what to expect when

dating Koreans: mixtape albums


heartbreaks, endings unlike the ones

in movie scripts. I dream of lover


boy but it turns into a nightmare in

which I am exiled from my own


desires. He will only love my silvered

reflection on the screen, unfaced.






___






BIO: Jessica Kim is a disabled poet from California. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work appears or is forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, Grain Magazine, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review and edits for several other literary magazines. Find her at www.jessicakimwrites.weebly.com and @jessiicable.