SOMA: Bloody Mouth by Yunkyo Moon Kim

Bloody Mouth,

You immure me.

Mouth is holding an ocean of blood. Seething with jealousy, I tuck the tropical fishes and tinfoil
seaweeds safely into cheek to taste saltwater without casualty.

I am swollen with wisdom, though I am a celibate.

I am told that I am. Venus nurtured from foam and molar from a man’s
apparatus ascended to dismal immortality — I am sulfuric drunk ceramic
kind of wet gaze plucked out of a fever dream, appearing suddenly in a
doorstep wearing a straightjacket woven out of floss.

The thirty-two women are square jawed, crocodile-tear reptilians, glowing
from exhaustion & heat with sick drywall sealer lips and crowns yellowed
by cigarette butts. They’re folding into skin and exhaling slowly under

Mouth is a purse holding its enemy close.

I wonder if I am truly insipid — if my hibernation is phase desired by
men who will then want to love me. My pinkness is a phenotype that
offends Mouth, so I will wear red every month to confuse it. I always
confuse perversion with romance, and replace it, like the aortic hip brace
I shed last spring.

She asks me, sometimes, as if I had been fortuned to have become so famous overnight. Corporeal
immortal galvanized from the vulgarian Mouth wrestled from youth, as if to dispel it with mouthwash
and stomach acid, I drain the Red Sea into the sink.

Yunkyo Moon Kim is a poet and essayist based in Boston. She was named a 2017 Grubstreet Young Authors Writing Program Fellow and recipient of the Boston Globe Foundation Writing Scholarship, among other honors.

Image © 2019 Yunkyo Moon Kim. Soma, acrylic on canvas.