Don Mee Choi

From noon - to all surviving Butterflies
from The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010)

The neocolonizers will soon perish. A farce is a farce, but the bombs fall anyway. Craters are formed and war correspondents travel in moonlight. The impression of traveling on the moon is born. Ash beneath ash. Dummies drop from the sky.

A farce is a farce, B-29s never land. No mention is made of imperialism as a logical phase of capitalism. An old peasant stays behind to save his house, his son’s legacy—his written Chinese in ink and brush. He runs along the crooked ditches of rice paddies, misses his footing. An aerial view reveals that he’s a gook in white pajamas, normal for the daytime.

“From noon” and “to all surviving Butterflies” are originally separate phrases. They were taken from the facsimile of Emily Dickinson’s manuscript in Bolts of Melody, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham (Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1945).

“No mention is made of imperialism as a logical phase of capitalism” is from How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney (Howard University Press, 1982).

Choi, Don Mee is the author of The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010). She has received a Whiting Writers Award in 2011. She lives in Seattle and translates contemporary Korean women’s poetry.

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