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You’ll Remember Mark Keats You’ll remember how she looks at the party years from now, when you’re alone, outside, raking the leaves or bringing the trashcan back up for your aging, adoptive mother. It’ll strike you out of the blue, as if the memory of that moment was hovering for the last few years, then bursts, forcing the emotion out. You’ll remember how she was uncomfortable wearing that black dress and heels, how she hadn’t worn makeup until graduate school, how she learned to apply it by reading a book. This is what made you smile, made you recall how you had learned to tie a tie from your Boy Scout book because your adoptive father was never around. You’ll remember how she listened, how she reached for your hand, how she said she was sorry life had been so difficult growing up here. You’ll remember how she searched for your birth parents in Korea, how she spent an entire summer there, away, but really close to you despite turning up nothing. You’ll remember when she first told you about kumiho, the nine-tailed fox, when you were sure that if you could memorize, visualize, internalize a Korean fairytale, that you’d somehow become more Korean. You’ll remember when you took those courses at community college, when you realized it was too late to learn a language that other Koreans assumed you knew. You’ll remember how that made you feel when you couldn’t order dinner in that Korean restaurant no matter how many times you rehearsed it with her. You’ll remember giving up when the waitress confirmed the order with her. You’ll remember the Korean words she first taught you, the first time she cooked for you, the first time she took your hand and led you to the bedroom. Then you’ll remember the first time she laughed, cried, and yelled because “you,” she often said, “are crazy.” You’ll remember how those words hurt, how they stung, how you sometimes, even though she said it in a moment of anger or joking, thought they were true. You’ll remember when it got serious, when you talked of marriage, how it might end, how you had told her, “You’ll be the one that breaks my heart.”

Profile for Ariana Den Bleyker

Emerge Literary Journal, Issue Four  

We are a new journal of online and print poetry and flash prose dedicated to emerging writers and their words. We aim to publish poets who a...

Emerge Literary Journal, Issue Four  

We are a new journal of online and print poetry and flash prose dedicated to emerging writers and their words. We aim to publish poets who a...

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