Coming Out by Hwang Byeong-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Painted by Kang Jang-won

Coming Out by Hwang Byeong-seung

Perhaps the real me is the back of my head
You become more honest behind me
I, who want to know more about you
Should perhaps walk backwards
After grinding my face on the bare floor

Another real me is my anus
But for you my anus is utterly disgusting
I, who want to know more about you
Should perhaps speak with my anus
Tearing apart my lips, saying please love me

I am ashamed
You carry many shameful animals like me
Inside your pockets and deep in your drawers

Every time you are ashamed
Of hating your shame
You write and erase a postcard
You cut off and attach your wrist
You become a grandfather or a great aunt who died one hundred years ago

Are you ashamed? Let’s shake hands

Your hand is inside the first page you tore off

(Originally published in Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature and Culture, Volume 5 [2012])

Hwang Byung-seung was born in Seoul in 1970. He debuted in 2003 by publishing five poems including “Primary Doctor h” in Para 21. He has published two poetry collections: Sikoku, The Man Dressed as Woman and Track and the Star of the Field.

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