Kim Seung Hee

Growing pearl
(진주 기르기)

In the deep of the night, vacantly,
watching Jessica's Mystery Theater
lying down,
urgent lettering, a white ribbon runs across,
"RH negative B-type blood
urgently sought, contact the emergency room,
Shinchon Severance Hospital, 392-0161,
immediately.

I don't have
RH-negative blood,
lying down munching onion rings
I'm watching T.V.

Did someone call me?
The night filling the window
seems to be staring me in the face.
I turn my back.
I say once more to myself.
I am not R H Ne ga tive so why...

Thus
the eighties came to a close
and I who never lost a drop of blood,
I who never added a drop of blood to that time,
like onion rings all too obediently,
feel myself dissolving again and again
into the depths of someone's throat.

Is it good to be dissolved like this?
Is it all right to be swallowed up like this?
Falling asleep, as if rocks are piling up inside my body
(if they filled it to the throat, we could have happily
accomplished submersion and death by drowning)

Oh, no, shedding the shroud like pajamas,
putting on shoes like the wind,
leaving the door stained with tears of darkness,
I begin running, green so green,
toward the dawn and Shinchon Severance Hospital.
Even if I
do not have R H Ne ga tive B- type blood ...

Translation by Kyung-nyun Richards and Steffen F. Richards