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My Wife’s Magic

My wife is sad and
seeing my sad wife, I too am sad,
then as she answers her mother’s phone call, “Sure, we’re fine,”
the wife inside my wife grows sadder still.

I want to live in a world that’s perfect like magic.
The rabbit that came out of a hat
voluntarily goes back into the hat.
When I try to go into a mirror,
I wonder why the rigid surface stops me?

A mother abandons her child,
a job abandons a father,
a disease abandons a sick person and
a magician finally abandons his rabbit.

If a heartless house kicks a road out the door, saying, “You, get out,”
an illusion takes the road, holds it tight then abandons it straight.

Wanting to dye the whole world with sorrow,
my crying wife is stroking the edge of the table on and on.
Curious magic that I see for the first time.

『아내의 마술』, from 슬픔이 없는 십오 초. © Shim Bo-Seon. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Eun-Gwi Chung and Brother Anthony of Taizé. All rights reserved.