she rarely smiles and mildly speaks
almost as if to whisper
the little-everythings.
she asks if you’re aware
the sky is red, and there is hidden rage
within the muddy depths,
where boots would step in soil to fill
the hungry mouths of seven seas,
when even as the lips of seven
children dry with begging “please.”

for she is but an instrument, she knows
like fertile fields,
the starving cow,
the plow,

when trees have eyes and spies are lurking crows,
and safest home is not as safe, no more.

when stars are stirring hearts with common ilk,
and silver is as valuable as milk,
she rarely smiles and mildly speaks,
the little lonely house, it creaks.

what flag is this, that flies upon their sky?
what hand is this that blocks and blinds the eye?
what line is this, that parts the north and south?
what words are these that sew and choke the mouth?

she rarely smiles and mildly speaks
obligatory welcoming remarks.
regrettable, this cage that shatters one —
her feet could barely run.

what sky is this that flies upon their flag,
that weathers each attempt of one to speak?
what land is this, that even in our sleep,
we dream that little lonely houses creak?

— A. P.

3 thoughts on “Pyongyang

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