I was barely a girl, the stories start—
Or, During the war— And how the change

more momentous than anyone could know
came without warning. Yes, like a god,

like a brute— those terms can be used
interchangeably. But never natural,

never the way a hailstorm or cloud of locusts
are merely themselves even in their

rampant destruction; therefore, amoral.
One moment a chicken scratching

among pebbles in the yard; wet
laundry flapping on the line. Next,

a phalanx of muddy green, bayonet-
tipped waves moving across the field;

every snail crushed beneath a boot
one more number on the list of early

obituaries. Soft bodies pulled from the coil
of our small homes: how much to scrub off

the pickling smell of sex and blood? Not
every history rewrites well as apology.


In response to Via Negativa: Outward and South Korea and Japan Reach Landmark Deal Over Comfort Women.

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