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Two Poems by Jessica Kim

POEM IN WHICH I CANNOT TALK ABOUT MY DISABILITY


Back to reality, I halve into the art museum.


There’s barely anyone inside, just a group

of girls flirting with Donatello’s David,

the earlier version. I model myself


into a bronze statue,

the kinds that lurk in the corner

and scrutinize without being

scrutinized. Girls, only accustomed

to linear perspective, coming straight


for my stoned anatomy.

They ask what are you looking at

and I cannot answer.


Forged eyeballs for sight. The museum label

for my body’s architecture

spells out visual impairment

and the girls back away.


Hissing retinopathy

like maledictions.


I have recurring nightmares of perfection.


Hallowed by the other girls. I exist

as inanimate objects, self-portraits,

remnants of lost antiquity. The museum closes,

devoid of human bodies.

I position myself in the underbelly of


my twilight eyes, back

into my unbridled vision.




SONNET FOR THE OTHER GIRLS


She wants to be like the other girls,

silvered and gutted. The first step is to


whittle a piece of her delicate adipose

into gemstone. Next, she fashions her eyes


so that she can see her reflection in

small concave planes. She is invited


to a party but forgets the dress code:

perfection. Instead, she slabs lipstick on


her bulbous lips and throws on an over-

coat made of fake rabbit fur. She looks just


like everyone else but they say other-

wise. After all, she was the first one to


leave. Stumbling into her own pretense, she

comes out hollow. Her reflection upturned.





Jessica Kim is a disabled poet from California. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, Grain Magazine, Longleaf Review, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review. Find her at www.jessicakimwrites.weebly.com and @jessiicable on twitter.

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