Sunflower

BY SARAH HEFFNER

Korea​ ​wants me to shut up.
It stuffed a handkerchief down my throat,
Only lets me stare out the window.
“Are you listening?” she asks me.
Take this knife and cut off a finger.
Take this noose, hang it around your neck.

Hanging from the ceiling by my neck,
To stare Korea in the eyes I must look up.
I give Korea my severed finger.
She shoves it down my throat.
What is happening to me?
A crack begins to form in the window—

There are people on the other side of the window.
I want to see better but I can’t turn my neck.
These people look like me.
They say things to me but give up.
Useless swollen blistered throat,
I taste the panic dripping from my severed finger.

Korea offers me penance for my finger,
More cracks form on the window.
Outside a woman massages her throat.
The noose loosens around my neck.
She shifts her weight and stands up.
She has the same throat as me.

Her face is oval but she is unstable like me.
She has eight and a half fingers—
Penance for the children she had given up.
The woman comes to the window.
She points to my neck.
She tells Korea to relieve my throat.

A bellow of air gives my throat
an orgasm. All the cracks were making me
brand new. I was living with a duck’s neck.
Swimming with mermaid fingers—
Now I am on the other side of the window.
My throat is a sunflower; to see the sun it tilts up.


Sarah​ ​is​ ​an​ ​international​ ​adoptee​ ​who​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​reconnect​ ​with​ ​her​ ​birth​ ​mother.​ ​She​ ​spent​ ​four years​ ​living​ ​and​ ​teaching​ ​ESL​ ​in​ ​South​ ​Korea.​ ​Currently​ ​in​ ​Fishtown,​ ​Philadelphia​ ​she​ ​bartends for​ ​shoe​ ​money.​ ​Also,​ ​she​ ​tutors​ ​creative​ ​writing,​ ​English,​ ​and​ ​ESL.​ ​Her​ ​MFA​ ​in​ ​Creative Writing​ ​is​ ​from​ ​NYU.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​find​ ​some​ ​of​ ​her​ ​work​ ​in​ ​​The​ ​North​ ​American​ ​Review,​ ​Bodega, Bitter​ ​Oleander​​ ​and​ ​others.​

Image Credit: Rocky Sun

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