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2 poems by Claire Jean Kim


on the trail this morning, raindrops cling to feathered grass,

backlit by sun. i am too young to have bursitis

of the hip. as the crossing guard tells it, the coyote took

the little dog from someone’s backyard and carried him,

crying, up into the hills. another war in the headlines

to try to not think about. must buckle down today

and plan fourth book. must decide, once and for all,

if the writing of books is worthwhile. no one complains

the dishes are piling up. no one does the dishes either.

the workshop participants, numbed by a string

of my dementia poems, mistake my love poem for another.

on her back in the windowsill, nony the cat extends

her legs straight up in the air in galloping horse pose.

after the holidays, we need a care conference about your mother,

says the assisted living manager, professional euphemizer,

thereby ruining my holidays. she wants to lock mother

in memory care for refusing to bathe. when all you have

is a straightjacket, everything looks like a nail.

which reminds me, if i stand in front of a mirror,

and there is no male gaze, does it make a sound?

suddenly, i am lost.


one lover the next

mother my mother

human lifespan canine lifespan

calendar time emotional time

sarah palin’s porch russia

musk bezos

musk & bezos everyone else

90210 90220

school shooting range

patient zero seven million plus

covid’s origins light of day.

america democracy

pig chop

koala ash

now too late

tipping point cascade.

broken tail light bullet.

jogging bullet

playing music bullet

orange juice bullet.

skittles bullet.


Claire Jean Kim is a Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies at University of California, Irvine. Her poems have been published in or are forthcoming from Rising Phoenix Review,, and Tiger Moth.

These poems were selected by Anthropocene Guest Editor Tom Branfoot.


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