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.