When to Use “영”
I express hometown winter crux of snow and not-fallen snow.
Though Fahrenheit is right, I science 영, the melting point of water.
I push my 영s to the second place like a good little math Asian.
I grimace with the steep frown of 영 that escaped me in this melting pot.
I refer to the way I have lost time with myself—all that precious grain.
영 stands for the o and double o’s of an anglicized Picone, Soo.
I weigh all I have gained, all I have lost in this 영 sum game of adding and subtracting.
I sweat with the correct pronunciation of 영 in front of a real native speaker.
I slip 영 through the hourglass of my barley teakettle, barley teacup.
영 is the termination of a name that began in the land, in the water 水.
영 is the termination of a name I no longer hold, name born in the water, 수.
영 is the termination of a name that belonged to a Korean, 수영.
Maria S. Picone/수영 is a Korean American adoptee who won Cream City Review’s 2020 Summer Poetry Prize. She has been published in Tahoma Literary Review, The Seventh Wave, Fractured Lit and Best Small Fictions 2021. Her work has been supported by Lighthouse Writers, GrubStreet, Kenyon Review, and Tin House. She is a 2022 Palm Beach Poetry Festival Kundiman Fellow and Chestnut Review’s managing editor. Her website is mariaspicone.com.