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Gone to U.S.A.

Gone to U.S.A.

It happened in the evening.
I am left on a sidewalk in Korea
Swaddled in the shame of my beginnings.
The smell of rotten eggs lingers heavy in the air like a lifetime of regrets.
A woman looks down at me and says, annyeong, you beautiful baby.
I make no sound.
She lifts me into her arms
And carries me towards grace.

It happened in the daytime.
Exported like a shiny new cell phone
I arrive a daughter in a new country
The model adoptee-grateful and lucky
The other shadowed among your whiteness.
A woman cradles me in her arms and whispers, welcome home.

It happened slowly over time
The grief unearthing from somewhere deep like worms crawling out from the dirt.
I wonder what my birth mother said to me as she held me for the last time.
Did she say I love you, I'm sorry…
Maybe she doesn't remember
But the body never forgets.

I am here.
Born into this world
Under the August moonlight
Reclaiming my voice
Broken and whole
Loved
Abandoned
And found.

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