Artwork © Ira Joel Haber
Each cut: a strategic battleground placement. Trenches
in the war. Burrowed and deep, one after another—
this one dedicated to myself, this one to her, this one
to the strange and terrible shapes that battered within me,
fingers pressing out from inside my body, purpling. This one
nicked recklessly in the first wave and this one
carved painstakingly over miles and miles of stalemated time:
hunched over in the bathroom sink, a body so disgustingly
unmarred, a smooth expanse of skin waiting to war. Blood bubbling
in tender formation. I told her it was a rite of passage,
that she might’ve done it too, once, when she was young,
or at least cradled the thought in her head. I can wince now
at the thought of a blade ripping through me, at the burning
and scabbing that followed. Back then, I never winced. Back then,
I wanted to cut to the bone.
Yejin Suh is a high-school writer from New Jersey who has been recognized by the Scholastic Awards, Princeton University, and Just Poetry. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Prometheus Dreaming, Polyphony Lit, and Parallax, among others. When not writing, she loves watching Graham Norton and blogging.
Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS), two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.