His legs are twined
with the branch
below him as
if they were
just another knot
taught to him
by his father
when he was
a young boy


I know a girl
who wears innocence
like a sundress,
setting each night
over her ankles

and I know
that there is a boy
with kerosene

in his eyes
that she turns to

and sometimes
I know the boy
and sometimes
that boy is me



We perched

the same branch
like two birds

huddling close

in the depths of winter,
for the music.
Swear, for the music.
Beautiful falsetto.



My heart is tinder

and the quiet man 

that built his home there

this past winter

paces slowly

and with a limp


His footsteps

fall on dry

 and paper

the sound echoing 

off of my ribcage amphitheater

and from far away

I’m sure it sounds

like a heartbeat



Old age
just the wisps of

cinder gray above

my head
and in my heart,
trying to remember
themselves auburn 

before the fire



The cartographer stumbles
past slowly:
his legs stiff,
heels clicking
with the ground
like the strikes of a
drafting compass;
and with his every step
earth measures him back.



I like to practice dying.

Sometimes I lay

down and carve tree trunks, my name scratched six

feet above my head
and admired
by the procession ants
that pause one

by one to

pay their respects

I like to walk
through the forest
looking at the names

that my mother thought about giving me
but didn’t

and wonder if they
are practicing too


The gardener cups his thumb on the head of his hose.
When the sun is out
he works alone,
watering the seeds
that his son will

buy one day
from a florist near

8th street and
lay over his grave


Nothing smells
more like beauty
than rain
on asphalt

Nothing looks so good
as the sun
shining through pollution

At 6 p.m.

Nothing sounds so pretty

as horse hair

and pernambuco
pulled back and forth

in a sea of G major, maple, spruce, and metal strings

as we were the currents
that held them in their sway


by Simon Rhee


Simon Rhee has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Stoneboat Journal, Do Not Look at the Sun, Mania Magazine, Visions with Voices, Red Ochre Lit Mini Chapbook, Line Zero Poetry Finalist, and Mary Ballad Poetry Prize Finalist. 

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