Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

The Knife and the Knife

Hyesoon Kim

A knife loves a knife.

It loves in midair, like a thing without feet.

The knife that falls in love is not a knife. It is a magnet.

Look at them shine as they draw each other in!

Two knives scattering sweat let out a cry,

cross each other for a moment in midair, lie down
shimmering, and gaze out in the same direction.

How many times has that shine severed the cherry blossoms every April,
the moment they aim from some secret place and strike each other!

For their love to end, one must bring its body down to eart.

But like the dancer in red shoes, it is able to go on
loving and loving

and it is able to survive, holding on to the sharp body that it can't stop loving
but it cannot separate and leave.

It was supposed to be able to come down from midair.

Blood pours out from four straight knees that cannot fall down.

That body has a hole like mine. Get rid of that black hole.
Stab it so its insides can flow out.

Wash your face with the warm blood.

No matter how hard I scream it will never soften,
this abominable love.

So now should I tell you how my love was holding up a sharp body in midair?

How I could not place my two feet on solid earth?
Isn't it wonderful? Our love like this, still suspended in midair?


Translated from Korean by Vanessa Falco and Sunghyun Kim