The Dead Sea by Noh Hyang-rim

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photographed by Kim Hee-jong (Harvesting Cockles in Hwayang-myeon, Yeosu)

The Dead Sea

There was another sea
before the sea

near which a polio-stricken boy stood
like a speck of a petal.

Pickled fish
lay on the street stall.

Mother’s body
always emitted
a salty sea smell.

To float on the dead sea,
our family made our bodies and hearts

and knelt down on the cold floor
and prayed

until the bell tower on the hill
rang at dawn.

Mother was
a pickled sea
that rested in the world.

死 海/ 노향림

한 점 꽃잎처럼
소아마비 소년이 서 있는

바다 앞은
또 바다였다

생선들이 좌판에 누워 있고

어머니의 몸에선
늘 짜디 짠 바다냄새가

사해바다에 뜨기 위해
몸과 마음이 가벼워져서

언덕배기 뾰족탑의
새벽종이 울릴 때까지

찬 바닥에 엎드려

세상에 누워 있는
절인 바다였다

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