• Naomi Kim

    dog days

    March 1, 2019
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    You’re a hunter-gatherer. Despite the wild beasts stalking in the dark and the harsh weather, you cling to life as fiercely as muscle clings to bone. You are sinew and ligament, rough hands and dirt-caked fingernails. And you have a dog who runs with you, sniffing, hunting, guarding. You’re a farmer, putting down roots in […]

    dear nicole

    February 1, 2019
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    Dear Nicole, Every time I drop by the mail room to pick up one of your letters sent all the way from Ohio, I finish reading it before I get back to my dorm. I blaze through your words, eating them up too quickly. I walk out of the building tearing the flap of the […]

    childhood wildwood

    September 27, 2018
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    Eight years old: I’m a tree climber. I wish for a storybook treehouse in a backyard, where I can keep a tin box full of interesting rocks and dried autumn leaves. But we live in an apartment complex in East Tennessee. No real backyard, no treehouse. Instead, I’ve got a plot of mulch with three […]

    notes from the noodle nook

    September 20, 2018
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    I’m sweaty. It’s only been 20 minutes since my shift started, but I’ve already somehow managed to pour steaming hot broth onto my gloved hand instead of into the bowl. But now there’s no one to serve, and time seems to slow down in here, inching along at an unbearable pace. I sigh and gather […]

    schooled

    September 13, 2018
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    “Mama! Mama! MAMA!” screams the two-year-old girl circling my legs, arms outstretched and face screwed up in the effort of crying. My hands are trembling slightly as I pull on purple gloves. I want to burst into tears like her and scream, “I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER!” But what little sanity I have left tells […]