In this Subway Train

by Choi Young-Mi
translated into English by Chong-Min Hong '96

Three women sleep.
One woman's head on another's shoulder,
One woman's shoulder on another's bosom,
One woman's fatigue on another's worries.
One on one on one, like
Do-re-mi.

Three men approach.
In this subway train like the inside of a sausage,
displaying eyes disheartened as if cooked,
and skin flabby as if boiled.

First, the beggar reaches out his hand
Then, the blind man starts to sing
And behind them the bald head of the prophet cries out,
Prepare yourselves for the end of the world, people!
Trying to wake them all.

But,
three women sleep,
while three men approach.

In this 11 a.m. subway train
Filled with the unemployed today.


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