Poetry: A Village by the Killing Fields by Nolan Lee

Photo by Maxim Kostenko

Old crone of the herbsmokes, old crone of the herbsmokes,
cannot this sorghum be red? it has not elected not to be.
This tree
can be a post, and why? because a village cannot be a field?
The village needs laws, after all.
          We couldn’t remember now back then,
          and now we cannot forget.

          The butcher, the baker, the sorghum-painter.
          Give us thy dish of fish and grain

They came for us, or rather, we came for us,
pulling cereal baskets
from loam. Thrush, late of the congress,
watched a man’s pulp spread
to the fingers of sorghum, appalled and useless.
We have not elected thrushes to impose upon us themselves;
we have elected our fields into redness.

Nolan Lee is a Korean-American poet from New Jersey. He enjoys the work of Cathy Park Hong, Anne Carson, and Federico Garcia Lorca. His work is to be published in indicia journal and Élan magazine.

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