“Detonations.” A Poem by Sun Yung Shin

From Their New Collection The Wet Hex

June 15, 2022  By Sun Yung Shin


If pain makes the body turn to cold flame / If scars are the
photonegatives of suitable decisions / I wrote letter after letter to
the bomb maker /

I attended the bomb makers’ annual ball / Shawls of white grass and
waste and fury / The earth spits its teeth at us / Giant mechanical
hummingbirds fight over all the sugar /

The Koreans scab the Japanese in the sweet cane fields / Modernity
is a rust factory / The hard soft binary / Exoskeletons make war even
harder make our bodies insects and we are home / Lay down your
lances /

All you horses sleep next to your wildness you are the shadow / Ghosts
cocktails moonlight foxfire to read by / everywhere not libraries of
the body /

War the night show the day show the violins / the rubble the child
burials the blood / Hearts the red stop signs / the graves in the air /
your black or blackened hair


wet hex

Excerpted from The Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin. Used with permission of the publisher, Coffee House Press. Copyright 2022 by Sun Yung Shin.

Sun Yung Shin
Sun Yung Shin
Sun Yung Shin is a Korean-born poet, writer, collaborative artist, and bodyworker. She/they lives in Minneapolis.

More Story
DBC Pierre Reads From Big Snake Little Snake Damian Barr's Literary Salon tempts the world's best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.