Su Hwang


Hosanna Dry Cleaners

He spits chemical phlegm into metal
pails with a kind of reptilian vigor
to free the knot of unknown poisons.


A foot to pedal to wheel to needle
stitching hems, mending tears, she pecks
away in a cave lined with cellophane ghosts.


Counting colored pins––make-believe
wampum beads to trade for another
life.  Oh God, how have we sinned?


Ironing press shoots scrims of steam,
odorless fumes of mushroom-shaped
fists, salt of their years dissolving into mist,

I shall bury them here.

Su Hwang was recently awarded the 2016-17 Minnesota Emerging Writers Grant from the Loft Literary Center and Coffee House Press In The Stacks Fellowship at Dickinson House in Belgium. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she grew up in New York then moved to San Francisco before transplanting to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota, where she received her MFA in Poetry. She is also the recipient of the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship in Poetry, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, and her first poetry collection was a finalist for the 2017 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Book Prize with Pleiades Press. Her poems have appeared in Ninth Letter, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland,, and elsewhere. Su currently lives in Minneapolis.