by Lim Solah July 21, 2017
괴괴한 날씨와 착한 사람들
I am standing in the empty store. Looking out the window.
I watch the people go by. Their profiles sliding past.
In the afternoon, small children pass by.
On the second afternoon, students in uniform pass by.
An auntie, wearing her backpack in the front, approaches the door and sticks on a flier for Chinese delivery before passing by.
On the third afternoon, my reflection begins to appear on the window. Headlights of cars pass by.
I slip bread dough in a plastic bag. The dough slowly rises. The bag slowly rises with it. I put my nose close to the bag and slowly take in the scent. When I open the door, the scent explodes outward.
A man walking forward looks sideways.
For a moment our eyes meet and he walks in, groping about his bag.
I’ll take one of those.
I grip the loaf with tongs.
I made the bread with my own hands, but I’m not allowed to handle it.
My pay, 5,000 won an hour.
One loaf, 5,500 won.
I want to eat the bread, the bread that I made.
The man takes the bread and leans his long black umbrella against the counter.
While his bread-carrying back disappears into the dark.
His black umbrella is at the store.
The umbrella and I are standing in the empty store.
Translated by Anton Hur
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AUTHORS Lim Solah Lim Solah is a poet-cum-novelist. She has published the poetry collection Strange Weather and Good People, the short story collection Snow, Person, and Snowperson, and the novel The Best Life. She has received the JoongAng New Writer’s Award for Poetry, Munhakdongne College Fiction Prize, and Sin Dong-yup Prize for Literature. She received the Arts Council Korea’s Young Art Frontier Grant in 2014.