Fish Eye

Fish Eye

October 18, 2021

Arah Ko's winning poem "Fish Eye" originally appears in Issue No. 61: Beginnings and Endings



We fought over them after dinner, my brother
and I. Two salty beads, milk-white,

floating in a wrinkled silver face,
spine of exposed splinters, chili

oil blood on the table before us. Clear
green tea running into my mother’s

tiny cup. What couldn’t be eaten at that table?
Scars on halmuni’s bare feet from feathering

over shrapnel are like sour kimchi.
Sorrow, drunk heartily from translucent

soju bottles. Each tragedy made small
as short-grained rice, anything we couldn’t

swallow pried like fish ribs from my bleeding
gums. The present has a way of ballooning

until the future and past touch, warping
at the edges of my vision. This moment:

a fish-eye lens, broken eulogy, dark medicine,
lunch. The world outside, bland as water

juk, noses wrinkling at our smell.
Within, a plate turned toward me, chop

-sticks pressed against my lips. My ancestors
asking, 여우 새끼, aren’t you hungry?



Arah Ko
is a writer from the Big Island of Hawai'i. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Sidereal, Rust+Moth, Grimoire, Maudlin House, and Hawai'i Pacific Review, among others. She is the runner up for the 2020 Fugue Poetry Prize and the recipient of a Luci Shaw Fellowship and a Lilly Graduate Fellowship. Arah is a current MFA candidate in creative writing at Ohio State University where she serves as Art Editor for The Journal. When not writing, she can be found making dumplings from scratch or correcting her name pronunciation.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.

Also in Ruminate Magazine

The Future of Ruminate
The Future of Ruminate

November 21, 2022

Today, we write to you with bittersweet news. 

Read More

Winners of the 2022 Waking Flash Prose Prize
Winners of the 2022 Waking Flash Prose Prize

October 31, 2022

Just in time for Halloween: We're announcing the winner, runner-up, and finalists of the 2022 Waking Flash Prose Prize. 

Read More

Angel Bath
Angel Bath

October 03, 2022 1 Comment

When she thought of all that shiny porcelain shattering down the slope, angels’ limbs mangled and plump cheeks drowned in the muddy river, her body quivered in an almost religious ecstasy.

Read More