ashly kim


once the small-town-sun banishes nine months of snow,
a text chimes through from my cousin—
time to come home for a coffin dance.

she writes home like i haven’t lived four hundred miles away
for ten years and two kids and too many funerals to count.

i can’t look at the sign—now entering Elk County—
but my bloody bones still shake
and each cell rearranges itself
to grieve again and again.

huddle of black dresses
and heels that sink into the mulled up earth.
this is our curse.
dead men and the women who miss them.


Ashly Kim (she/her/hers) is an over-caffeinated Philadelphian and weekend fishmonger. When not adventuring with her two kids, she enjoys eating tacos and hoarding books like a literary dragon. Her recent writing has appeared in Stanchion, Southchild Lit, Royal Rose Mag, deathcap, and Peach Velvet Magazine. Find Ashly online at @ashlykimchi.