you walk at an angle but won’t let me 

   pull the left backpack strap 

onto your shoulder; you let it hang. 

you move scooter-like along the pavement, every few steps

   tilting your head 

   to see if I’m still beside you. I am, 

still searching for something to say, 

   but there’s too much sputtering what 

   with the whiff of traffic cacophony we pass and your 

unsettling attempts at breath. i can see the sunset 

    behind the seoul city skyline 

turn red and orange as if preparing for winter. before its infinite space is

    this green rubber sidewalk & those old men playing blackjack with 

    rice cakes as makeshift money & that woman lugging a cart

of cardboard boxes to sell for a day’s food. 

i consider saying 

    this to you, uncurling the city before you, but can’t find a moment in

between your muted sobs. and so we walk, 

    to nowhere in particular, maybe because 

you’re sick of the way this city sings disillusionment like a hymn, 

but two blocks took you from hysteria to this 

   and that’s enough 

to keep us going.


Photography by: Jisu Han on Unsplash