Park Street

Cindy Juyoung Ok

Everyone is envious of those more
alive than them and when we are not
aware of this we are directed by spite.

I once felt a long absence of the magic
and the summer after the sense passed,
I visited the city where I had been

young, walking street corners where I had
cried out of an absorption with an idea
of myself and with a desire to be

witnessed, to be made public. Curtains were
drawn on the room where I was changing
when I noticed a man walking past repeatedly,

presumably to watch the silhouette of
the nude figure through a crack in the linen.
Longing is always a threat but that

which is longed after is not the threat
nor is it the threatened. The town had
spread and melted, promising again that

with time, the concept of a heart—
of any central location—diminishes.

Cindy Juyoung Ok is a writer with poems in journals like Bennington Review, Colorado Review, and Conjunctions. She teaches creative writing in Iowa City.
Originally published:
September 20, 2021

Featured

A Faceless Compass

Johannesburg’s haunted streets
Ivan Vladislavić

Case Studies

A critic tracks herself
Margo Jefferson

Geoff Dyer

The essayist on not having a career
James Surowiecki

You Might Also Like

Revenge

Nathaniel Hutner

In Memoriam

Adrienne Rich

Double Major

Major Jackson

Subscribe

New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.
Subscribe