Pastoral in Busan by Steve Chang

Ode

If I’m to truly find you someday, I’ll have to set my weight more firmly, step by step, upon this path. First, along this river, as I round the bend and lose sight of those women I’ve walked among so long—in a world apart—that they’ve become kindred. Soon, I’ll pass the white plum blossoms of March, daffy and sprawling, and, a week later, those heady vistas of orange canola flowers.

 

I’ll walk into April, when the cherry blossoms fall and soften my path, and soon the summer monsoons will arrive. The rains will fill this sunken stream, the water washing away all illusions—submerging the wooden walkways, the bike racks, and the basketball hoops—as it climbs the walls and graffitied embankments.

 

It rises to meet the streets, to spill out onto it. There, the tires of traffic will be swishing by, the sounds so searching: all those cars rushing back and forth. And until it recedes to reveal what’s left behind, for a moment all will be level, mended together by a flood the shifting colors of hazel.

 


Steve Chang is from the San Gabriel Valley, California. He holds an MFA from Cornell University and lives in Busan, South Korea, where he plays bass for GENIUS. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, Atticus Review, Angel City Review, Bull: Men’s Fiction, and Crag. He tweets at @steveXisXok