Bo Schwabacher

Rice Cake Idioms

The rice cake in the painting is what you want but can't have
—less than 3% of adopted Koreans find their mothers.

I am a poor translator; here is an example of a windy boy:
my birthfather/your lover, boss, client, or even possibly rapist

was married. Your heartbreak is from splitting—
it's 3:03am Seoul, South Korea/11:03am Flagstaff, Arizona.

Have you ever eaten rice cakes while lying down?
Did you have a fruit-dream about my gender?

Rest easy, mother. I have been overfed. I have been offered seconds,
you would love the sticky rice steamed in lotus leaves,

the sweet-jewels I eat in bed.

Bo Schwabacher's poems have appeared in CutBank, diode, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Her first book of poems, A Korean Bathhouse in Dream City, is being released by YesYes Books. She teaches at Northern Arizona University.