Her Face Is a Battlefield by Hwang Byeong-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Photography by Choi Il-ryoung

Her Face Is a Battlefield by Hwang Byeong-seung

Like the moment the second hand takes the sixtieth step
Pushing the back of the minute hand that attacks the hour hand

Her face is a battlefield

Like kids at a public cemetery where a festival parade passes by
Who drink ten cups of jostlings and swallow twenty cups of wranglings
Whose goal is to knock down

Her face is a battlefield

She is quickly loved and quickly forgotten

Amidst darkness, a woman cries, a second woman cries
A third one rushes outside

Like endless coughs two women spit at each other’s face with a mirror in between

(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.