Mihee Kim

sun choke

The Korean American is a prideful sunflower
Twisting to its own image, rebellious as a
Mottled pear. Chartreuse hums juicy promises
Olive pigments lose to the cool and warm
Shades of skin flash dance in an ad for girls 12-14
Our colors baffle biological discourse
The pantone wheel shows no shade can be marketed
To all of us. At recess, I’m tired of identity so I
Sign up for sports. I dog the ball and shoot to
Shatter. Barely miss the goalie who withers thin before
A basket mouth of redwood limbs. As the ball connects
The goal shivers, grows tumescently above the field
I am frozen in my leap and kick. I blink
Darkness and collapse.


The Korean American disintegrates
Twisted nettle. Proud armor for a lunchtime
Game. The goal shivers, ruptures grass in the field
Unctuous earth bubbles loam and in the
Turnover, a pear hums to keep its
Juices. Baffling biological discourse
Olive pigments army crawl in the
Skin towards each other
The pantone wheel shows no shade can be sold
To all of us. At recess, I’m tired of identity so I
Become a worm. I dig in the earth for
Shatters of dirt. Barely register the basket
Mouth of redwood limbs creeping above
I normally feel everything around me.

a beating

we tongue our losses
we weave songs from pulsing
and nothing else
a jubilee of blood butting
tenderest wrist
we      beat       the air in C-major
until our shoulders shake
center keys lightning eye between eyes
central root ruptures
earth-made filia fray down
a red-centered plume
takes the belliest cake
we        tongue        our     losses
we weave stories
from what’s happening
and nothing else
it happens now
everyone I’ve ever scared is
already scared
everyone I’ve lied to is here now
all the music of my youth
has gone to bed
fifth chakra        stutters
as I swallow kumquat
my neck reads : a debilitating mass lives here
trust no neck no wrist
no frail parts of you
hidden in pits
we tongue-sing a happening
and nothing else
we beat ourselves pink
we bust down
we bus it downtown
we ride our crowns to after home
we take the drum in our skin to mean
our bodies live
we        tongue        our     losses
we        weave ourselves into cilia
until the room is warm


Mihee is shown, before the trunk of a tree. Mihee has light skin, long bright blond hair, and black eyebrows. Mihee wears a light grey turtleneck.

Mihee Kim (she/they) is a Queer, Korean-American artist and poet. Her work has been nominated for a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize. Recent publications include: Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Foglifter, JetFuel Review, Apogee Journal, and poems are forthcoming in Anomaly. She earned a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an MFA at California College of the Arts. She lives, organizes and creates on Chochenyo Ohlone land, also known as beloved Oakland, California. Mihee is also Managing Director of Kearny Street Workshop, a longstanding arts nonprofit for Asian Pacific Americans.