Louise Kim

An elegy to queer girls who forgot their MetroCards 

Tab of yellow and blue, 
I hate you. 
$2.75 for a ride to nowhere 

Let’s go on a trip somewhere 
Maybe Far Rockaway, A train 
Take us away. Fingers intertwined; 
Hearts beaten as / subway / leaves / 

Sliding underneath the streets. 
Because [redacted] plucks her metrocard 
Out of her (bloodstained) heart-shaped wallet 
But I don’t. Forgotten at home, 
I hop over like a trapeze / artist in cirque du soleil 

And enter a soleil-less world, 
No use trying to get a connection from your phone. 
Times shift. It is now late winter. Unstable emotions. 
Honey eyes keep me in check. I use all my strength 
Trying not to fall into the trap, knowing it 
May do me more good to dive in, 

it do you no good to wallow in sin. 
Illusion / crumble / peel / skin / 
Beanie / over / eyes / stop 
Me / don’t / let 

Me walk out alone into the snow. 

reverse synesthesia 

I used colored pens 
to hide the black and white I see. 
When I open, 
my history notebook, 
glitter envelops me into a hug. 
My hands, tainted with their congealed blood 
after flipping through the pages, 

for a minute. For a minute, 

I thought that I saw your face 
when the subway car passed by 
as it left, 
the station. 

Maybe you'll come, 
and pay me a visit. 
Maybe I’ll, 
never see you again. 

Coagulated sunlight 
hits my jacket 
through the grimy windows 
where I am. Where am I? 

My Location On The Second Floor 
of the Katz Library is 
printed and stuck to the top of the ledge. 

My notebooks 
stacked haphazardly on the shelf 
are leaking, 
a strange mix of 
glitter gel pen plasma and 

paper tears. Paper tears 

my heart open, 
how is something so thin 

and delicate, yet 
forceful and violent. 
Now we wait. 
And drink tea in the process, 
lavender and chamomile— 
scones with lots of jam and 
clotted cream. Clotted blood 
tumbles out of my open wounds. 

Today is Friday. 
I wonder when I’ll ever see you again. 

the wind at 4:44 am 

At 4:44 am, 
You can see the wind. 
No, like really see it. 
You can see it glide in between the outstretched fingertips 
Of God. If she ever existed. We don’t know for sure— 
But what we do know for sure surely is 
We can see things we normally couldn’t 
At 4:44 am. 
And that scares you sometimes. 
Terrifies me, even. 
I ask myself 
What will happen when one day 
I wake up and I don’t 
See the wind. Or if one day 
I wake up and God—if she ever existed—went to bed 
And didn’t have her fingertips outstretched in time for when the second hand straightens itself.

Sometimes I sleep through the alarm that is supposed to wake me up to gaze at the wind at 4:44

And then I wake up, infuriated. 
At the alarm. At myself. At God. If she ever existed. 
And I spend the entire day in a groggy haze 
Often beneath the covers. I dare you to see me moving during the day. Ever. 
I just cry in my bed until I run out of tears I can waste. 
But I’m sure it will pass. 

You know I’ve been seeing angel numbers, right? 
The ones like 222 and 333 and 1111 and 
You’re worried the magic of 4:44 am will be replaced with another less ethereal hour. Perhaps 11:11
pm. Or 11:11 am. Or 2:22 am, when if you look carefully, 22.2% of the population is still awake. What
I want to say is— 

It’s not your fault the angels didn’t turn your volume up from its muted state. 
It’s not your fault your brain cells didn’t all jump at the same time to shake you
awake. Nature is shifting, awakening from a slumber it was never in. 
Universes we’ve never been a part of and never will be a part of 
Are colliding. Suddenly. 
Saturn is in Aquarius. 
Pluto is in Capricorn. 
Neptune is in Pisces. 
All at once. 

Do you even know what that means? 
The last time Saturn was in Aquarius was during the LA Riots. 
The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was during the American Revolution. 
Neptune was in Pisces when Rome fell. 
Our planet has always been revolving 
But now it’s about to tip a bit too far. 
Why are you waiting for the future 
When the present is even more exciting? 
Have you ever met Lao Tzu? He’s a fun guy. 
He talked about this stuff often. And I used to think it all made no sense. 
Back when I was young enough that I didn’t need to worry about the future. 
Do you remember? 
But now I realize what he was talking about. How fleeting time is, 
How we must take the chance now to kiss its ambivalent lips. 
Do you remember we hugged each other like the world would break apart in two the second
after We let go. 
We let go. 
We let go. 

Just wake up and look out of your window tonight. 
I know it’s hard sometimes. It’s hard to wake up. It’s hard to put your glasses on. It’s hard to sit up.
But you’ll see me then. Look out of your window. 
Can you see? I’m pointing. 
The wind. 
It’s back. 
I hope you will be too. 

About the Author: Louise Kim is a Korean-American student, author, and activist currently attending the Horace Mann School in New York City. She is a managing editor and writer for The Star Collective Zine. Louise’s work has been published in a variety of publications and magazines, including Oneul Zine, Binge Magazine, and Moon Juice Magazine. She has won two Gold Keys, six Silver Keys, and six Honorable Mentions from the Scholastic Writing Awards. In her free time, you can find Louise reading, writing, studying spirituality, advocating for social justice, listening to music, or drinking bubble tea.