In the year of buzzcuts
Mom and Dad gave me dinner-

money every morning.
I never ate dinner. Instead:

bought secret hipster glasses,
stashes of hairgel, a tearaway

bravado; preened wet spikes,
walked around Seoul

like I belonged there. I imagined
I was someone’s shadow.

I grew skinny with movies.
In the dark, in the bee-deh-oh-booth

the cathodes asked questions
of current and fluorescence.

The VCR sighed and sybilled.
From the next room

someone moaned like Cinemax.
I thought I knew the future, then:

the round spooling of it,
its generosity and malice,

the hiss of snow. How one day
everything would become real.

From Issue 6

SAM CHA is from Korea. He earned an MFA at UMass Boston. A 2017 recipient of the St. Boltoph’s Club Emerging Artists Prize, his work has appeared in apt, Assay, Best New Poets 2016, Boston Review, DIAGRAM, Memorious, and Missouri Review. His chapbook, American Carnage, was published by Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs in 2018. His full-length collection of cross-genre work, The Yellow Book, was published by [PANK] Books in 2020. Sam lives and writes in Cambridge, MA.

Photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash

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