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Words Without Borders is an inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winner!
from the April 2014 issue

Mud Flats

해 뜨는 곳에서 해지는 곳까지

She lies there with her hugely pregnant body.
At dawn a ship leaves, cutting through her stomach.
As it emerges from her body, headed for the sea,
trailing its umbilical cord,
oh, from within her body forcefully the innocent sun
is driven out and up.
Inside her empty body remain scattered shrouds,
nothing but head-towels women forgot.
Empty cockle shells that become feed for living creatures
become silent, empty midday houses.
A flock of speckled seagulls comes flying,
they force their way inside her body and fight among themselves.
Our mothers bore us
inside warlike bodies.
As evening comes, amniotic fluid bubbles up, the moon rises,
Father returns from far away at sea.

『갯벌: 뜨는 곳에서 해지는 곳까지』© Kim Soo-Bok. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Brother Anthony of Taizé. All rights reserved.

해 뜨는 곳에서 해지는 곳까지

만삭의 몸으로 누워 있다

새벽 배가 배를 가르며 나간다

바다로 탯줄을 달고

몸속을 빠져나가면

몸속, 오, 죄 없는 해를

힘껏 몸 밖으로 밀어 올렸다

텅 빈 몸속에는 흩어진 수의들

아낙네들이 잊고 간 머리 수건들만 남아 있다

살아 있는 것들의 먹이가 된 빈 조개껍질

조용한 대낮의 빈집이 된다

한 떼의 점박이 갈매기 날아와

배속을 헤치고 한바탕 저희끼리 싸움질이다

어머니들은 전쟁통 같은 뱃속에서

우리를 낳았다

저녁이면 그래도 양수가 차올라 달이 뜨고

먼 바다의 아버지가 돌아온다

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