Eye of a Typhoon

In front of the mental institution at Ch’ŏngnyangni
A poplar tree shakes its sweat-soaked hair
Like the night wind woven with the feathers of mad birds
At every lighted window I unload
a child and depart

   a child with a crushed chest    a child whose lung at every breathing
hole is filled with stones    a child with ten fingers tattered like a
folding fan    a child whose two lips are stuck together    a child whose
eyeballs have melted     a child whose teeth have been ground away    a
child whose ribs have been smashed away    a child whose every strand
of hair has been plucked    a child whose blood among other things has
been sucked into the drain    a child whose tongue has been stretched
like chewing gum    a child whose brain has been sucked dry by a cat

Mad birds comb-to-comb
encircle the night sky
Little cabin in the woods a little child by the window stood
Saw a rabbit hopping by knocking at the doorThe sound of their singing
Help me help me
A song that cuts my throat like hiccups that won’t stop
In the middle of the mad birds my children yearning to return and
lie down again inside my body A boat carrying those children quietly
afloat with a light on