Nights in Goryeo

There are Nights in Goryeo...

Where I am proud of the places I’ve come from

When the cold is no excuse to avoid tradition

Where I’m elbowed by the elderly as I wait in line

Where dinner table conversations leave a deep impression

When I feel lonely in the crowd, but dance and flow anyway

Where I am walking the streets at 2 AM because we decided against a second round of karaoke

When the city never sleeps, and I lie awake in my bed

Where I climb to the rooftop to talk to God and cry out the weight on my shoulders

When men stand outside and loudly clear their throats, spitting for the tenth time this hour

Moments that remind me of nights elsewhere, and my old self.

There are Days in Goryeo...

Where I am proud of where I am

Where a train ride through the autumn-coated mountains is rejuvenating

Where a boy called Optimus Prime grins and swings his legs as we sing the ABCs, and grannies look on with wonder

When I wait eagerly for my chance to eat a street vendor’s sweet, freshly-fried hoddeok

When I feel lonely in the crowd, and then a friend appears

When I am invited to venture outside my comfort zone

Where I am a celebrity to the passersby

When laughter and joy cannot be contained

Where I can hear the Earth breathing

Moments that remind me of days elsewhere, and my new self.