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Red Scissors Woman

Kim Hyesoon

Reading from Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus festival, 2012. 

Translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi:
Red Scissors Woman
That woman who walks out of the gynaecology clinic
Next to her is an old woman holding a newborn
That woman’s legs are like scissors
She walks swiftswift cutting the snow path
But the swollen scissor blades are like fat dark clouds
What did she cut screaming with her raised blades
bloodscented dusk flooding out between her legs
The sky keeps tearing the morning after the snowstorm
A blinding flash of light
follows the waddlewaddling woman
Heaven’s lid glimmers and opens then closes
How scared God must have been
when the woman who ate all the fruits of the tree he’d planted
was cutting out each red body from
between her legs
The sky, the wound that opens every morning
when a red head is cut out
between the fat red legs of the cloud
(Does that blood live inside me?)
(Do I live inside that blood?)
That woman who walks ahead
That woman who walks and rips
with her scorching body her cold shadow
Newborn infants swim
inside that woman’s mirror inside her as white as a snowhouse
the stickysticky slow breaking waves of blood
like the morning sea filled with fish