Chiwan Choi



invited to dinner

i take my place at the table

across mother

who waits for my fingers to uncurl


the emptiness of our sacrifice

lifted by my hands above this love that tries to bind us

to an old name that no longer

knows the road home


she is gone, i sing

she is never coming back, i whisper

quiet so the dinner is uninterrupted in its plates and bowls

and i hold to release the ghost of our hope


we act out our prayers as tableaux of silence

remembering who we are to each other

by the placement of our chairs

until in the brief movement of our feet on the cold floor

we become untraceable


what will come

is the morning

of my body sectioned

by the light uninvited

while i lie suspended in the gap

of losing my life without creating one to replace my mistakes


and mother's face holding creases in mid-scream

and father planting this language he never let himself learn


                                                                     how do we find mercy

                                                                     this is the end of us

                                                                     son my son my love my




Chiwan Choi is the author of The Flood (Tía Chucha Press) and Abductions (Writ Large Press). His current project is Ghostmaker, a book he is writing, presenting, and destroying during the course of 2015. Chiwan is also a founding partner at Writ Large Press, a DTLA based indie publisher.