My Padlock Body

Three weeks have passed since my return home. It took half this time to twist the dial on my padlock body, unlocking my self into a different time zone, listening to each tick as the numbers rotate at four in the morning. Now I can’t stop sleeping, sinking into my too-soft mattress, the feel of Korea leaving me with every layer of bedding, every thick carpet with shoes parked presumptuously.

My padlock body has not adjusted yet. It holds fast to codes set in Daegu, a mystery in Colorado. I rattle with politics, calorific foods, and the ghost of Kody: I hear his collar jingle when I open my bedroom door, insert the key quietly at night so as not to set him barking. I hear him sigh against the bathroom door. I look for what isn’t there.

Everyone’s the same with changing combinations. I look for how I now fit into the equation. When I left, I entered a maze of unknowns. And here I wander each path in Konglish clothes, wrapped in a cloak of souvenirs, and realize my experiences are internal, unprojectable. I washed out the smell of adventure in my parents’ washing machines, and I’m left still spinning slowly, back and forth between directions, far from settling.

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