“Yet The Grief Body is a Body of Water” by Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Image by Anna Tucker / “Performance Relic III”


floods the chest cavity, up through the throat–an upper limit against which to speak is to drip. with breathless pressure, fulfilled in a black, still well. matte blur of its solitary reflected star. saturated intensities, to inhabit this is to be inhabited. a possession in silence. without break.

that she drowns in a black well alone. nameless composition of wet stone walls penetrate and hold. mother body, of first fluid movement in bright red isolation now blued. mother body of grief. of containment of hermetic chambers what light what light what light.

((pale)) sound–in small duration and stretch.
can she speak. no.
(pale) hand in longing.
can she reach. no.
pale. wan. silent. cold.
no. no. no. no. no.



Sueyeun Juliette Lee grew up three miles from the CIA. A former Pew Fellow in the Arts for Literature, her books include That Gorgeous Feeling (Coconut), Underground National (Factory School), and Solar Maximum (Futurepoem) as well as numerous chapbooks. She founded Corollary Press, a chapbook series dedicated to innovative multi-ethnic writing, and writes reviews for The Constant Critic, a project of Fence Books. Her critical essays explore Asian American contemporary poetics as well as the imaginations of spaces and time. She has held arts residencies in poetry, dance, and video art in Hafnarborg (Iceland), Kunstnarhuset Messen (Norway), and UCross Foundation (Wyoming). She currently works at a women’s shelter in Denver.