Sue Hyon Bae

For Nicole


A love poem, written by one who has

never fallen in love.


No one I know has died

either. Does that even out? No gain, no loss.


I still murmur Catullus: I don’t know, but I feel it

happening to me and I’m burning up.


The first time I kissed a boy, his television

was on ESPN, playing a live match. I don’t remember


what sport. The first time I kissed a girl



I tasted the wet give of her (your)

mouth, dense ash. I don’t love


my lovers, I don’t like my crushes.

It’s all terribly inefficient.


I saw two birds entwined under

a traffic light and I thought:


mating. Then I saw it was a falcon

holding down a pigeon. A car


startled them and they soared away



Sue Hyon Bae is an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. She grew up in South Korea, Malaysia, and Texas. Her work has appeared in Spires, Silver Birch Press, Please Hold Magazine, and others.