Extract a Cold

July 2, 2008
By Boryung Choi, Seoul, ZZ

Can you extract a cold from your throat,

pull it out, ply it out with tweezers?

Can you pull away great fistfuls of fat,

hanging pale and limp on your body?

Can you wipe away ugly birthmarks and greasy pimples

with a rag and some chemical spray?

What about scars?

What about scars that you can’t even see?

Can you dry out your brain with the hair dryer?

-it’s soggy with all that disappointment

Can you open up your head,

with a neat incision all around the skull,

and flash a flashlight inside

and organize the good from the bad,

and take out all the bad?

Can we borrow your heart for a while,

we’re going to react chemicals in it

we want to turn it into gold

or perhaps it will explode

Can you take out your soul for a cleaning,

air it out, hang it up to dry in the fresh morning light?

Can you place your hopes and dreams in neat little boxes

(just for a little while, to organize yourself)

and stack them up in order of importance?

Can’t we make a trade?

-Some of your exuberance for some of my calm?

Doesn’t somebody owe me some of their happiness?

Someone out there somewhere owes me a lifetime of happiness

The trouble is I lost the receipt

Can you dilute heartbreak with water,

or do tears turn to ice on the chilly beating organ?

Must you always swallow that lump in your throat?

Won’t it add to the weight to your heart?
Can’t you throw it up into the faces and onto the shoes of strangers?

Why must we always swallow?
Sometimes, it might be better to spit it out.

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