Horse Girl

Jimin Lee


On the dining table, I impregnate
my mouth with peaches as I watch
the laundry bake in the lemon sun

outside. Once it dries, Grandma
irons, wishes she could do the same
to the parchment skin of her palm—

every crease a creation myth untold.
She is crooning again, & I wonder
if she misses her childhood spirit.

When Grandma looks at me, she says
horse is bad, horses bad for girls.
Peach-juiced, jaded like trodden

snow. I was born in the year
of the horse: the untamed beast
I am, blind to the taste of hunger.

Horse, tell me how you earned
your haunted face & your eyes
tainted with your bloodline.

Horse, I can’t bear to look at you,
so I imagine myself as a rabbit
hiding in the moon’s footprints.

Grandma says that it is a shame
for a girl to be something wilder
than herself, that rabbit

suits me better for a name.
I want to bathe in whiteness
& cake myself in powdered sugar,

magnolia-scented like good girls.
I want to taste what it means to be good


*Note: Characters, dialogues, places, and events in this piece are the products of the author’s imagination and used in a purely symbolic and fictitious manner.

Jimin Lee
is a high school writer from Seoul, South Korea. She has been named a 2019 Finalist in Writing (Poetry) by the National YoungArts Foundation and recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, The Penn Review, and Hollins University. Her works appear in or are forthcoming from The Penn Review, Polyphony Lit, Watershed Review, Crashtest Magazine, The Daphne Review, and elsewhere. Jimin is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Ideate Review and an alumna of the Juniper Institute for Young Writers. She will be attending the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and the Kenyon Review Young Writers’ Workshop this summer.