Origin Myth


“I said to the sun / tell me about the Big Bang / The sun said, ‘It hurts to become.’”
-Andrea Gibson

Except it’s not a myth, is it? Once I wasn’t here and now
I am. We are. The cold shook-fist universe

dispersed stardust, gaseous breaths, gigantic cradle
born bruised. Ripped space bleeding sun had nothing

in common with my squished, six-pound body shivering
upon my mother’s bloody chest and father’s

one unbroken hand. I have decided to be happy
in spite of everything that came before,

and because of it. I close my eyes and my grandmother
buries the unborn beneath a rose bush. Her mother

trembles down the aisle at fourteen. Meanwhile, great-
great grandmother tears floorboards out at the end of her life,

to feel the earth under my feet again. Some blood
-lines are more sacred than dynasties. Outside

our time, my ancestor motions a prince with a sword,
black silk 한복 rasping against the blade. Steel

ripples like a mirror. When did the poet Adonis ask, how
many centuries deep is your wound? All I can answer is:

deep. Where is the beginning? My hands grope
through darkness for the damage. Somewhere, super-

novae corpses congeal, solar lesions fold
into embryos, my fingers still searching

for rupture, umbilical cord, origin point. There are
fledgling stars in this void, you and I in this

nebula. I’m not afraid anymore. None of us
are broken by ourselves.

Arah Ko