Suphil Lee Park

New Year Resolution
Parable of Birth

New Year Resolution

Insomnia follows the scent
of grief into your pillowcase.
The Hudson being shredded
white on the grey Hudson—
you’ve needed help with your
wistful thinking. Don’t you lean
on half measures. Remember
how often you were beheaded
by the illusion of too much
freedom? Whoever dug a grave
in every river and called it
riverbed, spring is expected
to fill every bed with water, earth
unable to reflect the mourning
to follow. Listen—through this
hankering, past the yacht fleeing
the wake you crave to clutch, beyond
the elms that didn’t go down while
we did. Each of them, solitary,
also shivers in a bird’s eye view.

Parable of Birth

To be buried in mountains
or water makes all the difference
for music, after.
Unable to find a celestial voice, the composer
chooses a graveyard more reflective of sky.
His neighbors surround the estuary.
Their hands, arching
like a breastfed baby’s feet that never touched
the ground, in prayer.
Chanting for what transcends.
Chanting, the composer feeds the ocean
only copies of his unpublished music
as would a mother, born
sterile, her imaginary child. Or it’s the music
he feeds. Its approximation. All that
absorbs, dies.
Red ants filling a sunflower’s eye socket
he once mistook for a womb of light
will die. Doors still without doors
to access their interiors will die
of unuse. How long did it take for the Pacific,
he wonders on shore, to realize it can’t run
out of itself? The composer doesn’t travel
much, well-acquainted with life.
He sometimes misses the horizon of good
and not, its nonexistent chanting.
Meanwhile, silenced, stillborn rain.

SUPHIL LEE PARK is the author of Present Tense Complex, winner of the Marystina Santiestevan Prize, forthcoming in 2021. She graduated from New York University with a BA in English and from the University of Texas at Austin with an MFA in Poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Catamaran Literary Reader, Colorado Review, Global Poetry Anthology, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, The Common Online, The Iowa Review, and The Massachusetts Review, among many others. You can find more about her at: