The Boiler

Jake Levine

KIM JONG IL LOOKS AT THINGS*

In the end all pigs get roasted
in bearskin hats between the green lapels of women
the Spring fish in styrofoam containers
remind me of Summer wind
when I inspect women’s lingerie
to make sure it functions properly

through sunglasses beauty products do appear
suddenly and this packet is a sample
and this bottle is simply shampoo
and through the white columns of the market gate
several men tucked in the fridge
ask me to sign the guestbook

retreading factories, sweaty women
shaping ceramic bowls
counting berries in their red plastic bowls
all my life I have grown old
holding juice boxes, inspecting glass shapes
and I admit, in my white gloves, I have sweat

I have said this is a ballot box
and I have said these cookies are just snacks
and sometimes I have a concerned expression
tedium in my hand runs over piles of silk sheets
before sitting down on the upholstered couch
in a family’s house and saying Hey.

________________________________________

Jake Levine is a poetry editor at Spork. His work has appeared in Bodega, EOAGH, Handsome, H_NGM_N, inter|rupture, Paragraphiti andLituanus. He has translations of the Korean poet Kim Kyung Ju forthcoming or already in Boston Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Guernica, Asian Literary Review and Asymptote. His body lives in Korea where he is a KGSP scholar pursing a PhD in comparative literature, but his heart is buried in Tucson in the Burk shack.

*This is an ekphrastic poem based on pictures from the tumblr blog Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things