I imagine one day I feed my mother
soondae or japchae and like magic
—something in the glass noodles,
in the nutty doenjang, the spicy sticky
blood, a spell unwinding—
memories of her small self
—before Jacksonville and Toledo
Louisville and Kalamazoo,
before her tongue was pulled out
and she knew the taste of slurp soup,
antipasti, all in this order—
would return like carrier pigeons and she’d
know the meaning of her name,
would be able to tell me in perfect Korean
and I would understand.
Joie Filippini is an emerging writer and the daughter of a Korean adoptee. She is an alumna of the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts in Creative Writing and has a degree in English with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Kentucky. Her work has been featured in Shale Undergraduate Arts Journal, and in 2016, she self-published the chapbook Aquatint: Poems for Sara Baartman. She lives in Boston with her cat, Selkie.