“Cormorants Diving Wildly For Minnows” By Christine Choi

"Bloom" by Madeline Partner / madelinepartner.com

Somewhere between the lemon groves of California and the frozen Hudson River, time lost its shape.

Our dreams wore horns. We leaned into the turns.

Years felt like trying on sunglasses at a gas station we’ll never return to with lovers we’ll shortly forget. They tasted like limes and a salty attitude, despite the tiny wings on our feet—poppies in bloom, rows and rows of grapes, lettuce, kale, strawberries, peas, miles of tumbleweed shoring up the fence along I-5.

“Animal” became “element.” “Mathematic” turned “asthmatic.”

Then one day, among swarming terns and cormorants diving wildly for minnows, North Korea launched four nuclear missiles into the sea.

Instead of checking the wind, we checked our phones.

The roar we heard inside a shell was our own blood. A screen door squealed. The wind picked up. We heard little except the steady scrape of neighbors’ shovels on asphalt. We said nothing as TV static shifted to fields of prop planes, unmoved by falling snow.



Christine Choi passes time considering implicit narratives and dreaming of mountains. She has an MFA from the California College of the Arts, and her writing has appeared in Encyclopedia Vol. 3 L-Z, pacificREVIEW, Synecdoche, Nerve Lantern, In Posse Review, Monday Night, or at the Bay Area Poetry Marathon, Mission Cultural Center, Viaduct Gallery, NOMA Gallery, Future Tenant Gallery, POW! Action Art Festival, Soundwave Festival, Small Press Traffic’s Poets’ Theater, Boog City Poets’ Theater, and the Poetry Project in NYC.