being azn: the space in the hyphen

posted by jroselkim

the space in the hyphen
Jihyun Rosel Kim

Jihyun-Rosel

Who do you feel more like today,
Jihyun-
Rosel?

It’s true,
I
own a Canadian passport and
write in this secondary language that now
feels more at home and
mentally
create the quiet mountainous suburbs of
Deep Cove when I say
“home”

But “home” was something else.
Home was coming into
a first-floor apartment of
many complexes outside the rectangular brick building where I
learned how to multiply and sew and then at sneak out to
a snack truck full of hot broth and 떡볶이
Playing with 공기

I forgot.

I was busy looking
at other people’s pasts
acclimatizing to the world so vast
where just one province enveloped my former country
twofold and over.

But no, I was not
around when the Stanley Cup happened, I
do not know Mr. Dressup or Mr. Rogers, I
never grew up eating peanut butter from a jar.

In university
I learned to
think critically and
be suspicious of the notion of “home”

and that
multiplicity, rather than unity was
really alright

So, I asked:
나의 과거를 찾고싶다.
내가 누구인지를 다시 발견하고 싶다.

With determination of
Western Enlightenment I
uncovered the
unvisited books in my parents’ shelves, my
born-again first language, my
rich history of a home I left
so long ago

I remember now.

and

understand

the space in the hyphen
the space in the hybrid wor(l)d

Korean-Canadian

This piece was originally published in cultureSHOCK!: an anti-racist review in 2008.

the invazn’s note: the korean may or may not show up depending on your computer settings eg. works on my home computer, not on my work one. grrr western sense of superiority.

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