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Rat Kim Hyesoon

Translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi

Enter the inside of the sunny morning, and it seems as if the scream can always be heard. It’s so loud that it’s inaudible to us. The scream let out by last night’s darkness. This morning the whitish scream suddenly disperses then gathers in the air—ah, ah, ah, ah! Do people know how much it hurts the darkness when you turn on the light in the middle of the night? So I can’t turn on the light even when the night arrives. The day of the first snowfall, I took an x-ray of my body. Then I asked everyone I met: Have you ever turned on the light inside your intestine? The darkness with a fluid mass moving through it endlessly—is this my essence? When the light is switched on inside my darkness, I buzz like a beetle pinned down, bung, bung, bung, bung, and shake my head wildly, my muzzle holding onto a black string. Struck by the light, I regress, in a flash, from a reptile to a beetle turned upside down. My dignity is the darkness inside. Was it hiding inside the darkness? Lights on—my underground prison, my beloved black being trembles in it. The damaged walls of my room quiver from the car lights coming in through the windows. Thousands of rays of light poke at me—my dark, crouched face. The day of the first snow, the snow was nowhere to be seen. The houses with lit windows. How painful the light must be for the night.