We crossed paths in a bar in Chicago 

Like what two people from Midwestern towns 

tend to do. We are monarch butterflies

resting our wings on the same flower petal. 

We sip pink colored nectar from our straws

and you tell me stories from your life: how 

in high school you were either studying or 

pushing shopping carts at the local Walmart

tiny loose wheels sometimes lodged in potholes. 

The older people frowned and spoke curtly 

bland aprons and uniforms covered 

unpleasant histories written on their skin. 

 

You were raised in Missouri, but 

Chicago had promises of pretty neat colleges 

a degree from a nifty school meant getting away 

from your lazy peers – their eyes couldn’t traverse

terrains of a paragraph. They chose to stay 

amongst the empty houses melting into dying grass. 

Some friends had babies early, parenthood was

their accidental vocation. Some took a liking to heroin 

you saw their flesh wash away from snow water. 

Some were content to fill plastic grocery bags

video games and weed already bought happiness 

 

You weren’t the most talented girl, but you knew 

you weren’t going to live your life walking between

aisles of cardboard and cans. Your town was 

going to be a leaf skeleton discarded after consumption.

 

You were into anime at the time, and you’d watch 

a school boy walking down a street in Tokyo 

eating a strange shaped pastry, past neon signs 

complicated writing glittering and bursting with lights.

 

You knew that life could only get much better.

 


Danyal Kim lives in Chicago, where he works at an office job with a government agency by day and writes poetry by night. He will occasionally share his poetry at open mics.

 

IG: @danyal.kim