by Annie Kim

In fragments, in bathroom shadows.
Hotel wardrobes opened to empty hangers.
Cut spring grass.

                        —How the dead come to us. 
In the flicker of I was here
while you stood there, though the loved face
never does swing fully into light, the lips
don’t sprout new proverbs. In dreams,
when we forget, simply, that they are dead.

The day she died she turned to him and said, Ben, I’m dying. 
You’re not dying, Betty, he insisted. Then the lights began to flash.

All day he keeps the TV on, the box
turning blue at the corners, as if to flood
while the weatherman inside it
preaches the coming of the storm.
It’s been a good TV, he nods, the way
you might say he was a good dog.
Tonight the storm will leave these mountains
half a foot of late wet snow
before it thins into a sheet of rain just
north of Bull Run, to mist over the mall in Warrenton,
a shiver in the bamboo leaves
outside my window, here in Charlottesville,
where I read in warm lamplight.
Form is everything. I am here,
so are you, reading at this moment.

ANNIE KIM was born in Seoul, Korea, but now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she works as an assistant dean for public service at the University of Virginia School of Law.  A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, Kim has been awarded a residency at the Centrum Arts Center in Port Townsend, Washington and the Lynda Hull Memorial Scholarship from the Indiana Review Writer’s Conference.  In her spare time Kim plays violin in a local symphony and tries to beat her personal pull-up record.


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Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.