Poetry Side Quest: Green Card :: Evidence of Adequate Means… by Ae Hee Lee

Creative Questers
Poetry Side Quest: Green Card :: Evidence of Adequate Means... by Ae Hee Lee

Welcome to our second poetry sidequest!

Once or twice a month, Christina will read a poem she found in her search for the muse. Poetry can fire up your creativity in a different way than prose can. Here’s a great article on how reading poetry can improve your writing regardless of the genre you write in: https://www.iuniverse.com/en/resources/writing-and-editing/6-ways-poetry-can-improve-your-writing Whoever you are and whatever brought you here, we hope this poem sparks your imagination and gets your creativity flowing. If you have any comments or suggestions for future featured poems, please contact us at: creativequesters@gmail.com

The Poem:

Green Card :: Evidence of Adequate Means of Financial Support
I needed money. There’s no poetic way to say this.
Even so, when you touched my face, brought my
cheeks to the nook of your neck, I burrowed into it—
a firefly seeking shelter from winter, far
underground. Then,

          you told me there’s no application form that can hold
          the entirety of a life, because our days constantly spill like wine.
          Imagine that, you said, apricot tones all over the page!

          you told me about your ferns, bejeweled with jade dew,
          their coiled fiddleheads full of unfulfilled,
          twirling futures, and I forgot about my fixation with earning
          people’s respect, among other things for which
          I’d been told it was proper to plead
          until granted.

          you told me, if immigrants could enrich a country,
          you didn’t want to know
          our melting point and whether we would shine
          brighter than gold.

          you told me how I could stop confusing belonging
          with belongings,  good with  goods, by sharing
          the way our hearts continue to beat
          resilient, even without an assurance of worth.

          you told me there can be solace in a dead end, in knowing the sea
          still collapses, still runs and soars carrying its broken
          shells, somewhere out there. And then,

                      you buried a kiss in the dark
                      earth of my hair. I believed it all.
                      What else could I do?

About the poet:

Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, Ae Hee is the author of poetry chapbooks: Bedtime || Riverbed (Compound Press 2017), Dear bear, (Platypus Press 2021), and  Connotary (Frost Place Chapbook Competition Winner – Bull City Press 2021). Most recently, her full-length poetry collection ASTERISM has been awarded the 2022 Dorset Prize by John Murillo and will be published by Tupelo Press in 2024.

She is a recipient of a James Olney Award by The Southern Review, Adroit Journal Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry, and Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Finalist. She has also received scholarships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, AWP, Gasher Journal, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and Bread Loaf, among others.  Find out more at https://aeheeleekim.com/

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