In Chest

The summer of 1762. Crown Prince Sado of Chosŏn has been deemed unfit for rule on account of his worsening insanity. On the orders of his father, King Yŏngjo, Sado is confined in a small rice chest to die. This is in accordance with a Confucian prohibition against the breaking of skin.

I’m trying to space out
my heartbeats

to make each one
as loud as possible,

trying to make one
as loud as the thunder

whose reverberations
cornered me here.