August 8, 2017

Sonia Greenfield

DEAR KIM JONG-UN,

Do you work out? Because I’ve seen a lot of flexing
going on in state houses while the rest of us
are just trying to figure out what to feed our kids
when they want nothing but pizza, so we come up
with novel ways to pair bread and cheese as if
we’re fooling ourselves into thinking it’s not pizza.
Do you like cheese? My son likes string cheese best,
Manchego second, and sharp cheddar at a distant third.
I would be happy to feel your biceps if it would mean
endless bomb-free days of incognito pizza. Do you think
your ego is more Maine Coon in that it’s big and plush
or is it more Siamese in that it is almost slick to the touch
and likes to talk loudly in the middle of the night
while you’re trying to sleep? If you want I will stroke
your ego until it purrs if you put away your pet
submarine. I saw that picture of you posing
with your warhead, and I really like your fur hat
but was a little surprised to see that nuclear annihilation
could be wrapped in a package that looks like a prismatic ball
meant to turn and toss reflected red spotlights
all over a club floor. Do you like to disco? My son
likes to play freeze dance at summer camp to songs
by Lady Gaga. I know under your double-breasted
khaki coat a heart beats same as mine. Do you like
children? My son has a beauty mark next to his mouth
and eyelashes every lady says she want to steal.
He is made of cameo pink incandescence and clumsy
grace. I can feel his guileless heart hammer through
the thin wall of his chest which can’t be much different
than your daughter’s delicate ribs wrapping around her motor
as a hand cups a flame to keep it from blowing out.

Poets Respond
August 8, 2017

[download audio]

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Sonia Greenfield: “In the news this week were several stories about North Korea’s missiles and nuclear aspirations. One wonders whether such stories are meant to elicit fear with their doomsday scenarios or whether they are meant to inform us of a true threat. Either way, the rest of us, the citizens in our homes—presumably in either country—are just trying to keep our children alive.” (website)

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