Eric Pak

1.     Visit the market past the bamboo stalks where azaleas cling to thin air and

swindlers grift the crowd.

2.     Among the distant chatters and leaking floors, pick out the Napa from the vendor

with calloused hands.

3.    When you reach home, wash the Napa with water, careful not to let any leaves

drift to the mud.

4.     In the kitchen, fan out the leaves so they resemble the crescent moon the day

Appa fled the village on his tricycle.

5.     Flick the salt in the veins like how the dirt spiraled in the air as his rubber tires

carved the road.

6.     When the skin around your nails begins to shrivel, imagine they are Ginseng

roots: Health, Luck, Prosperity.

7.     Mix the shards of Gochugaru from the hills of Jeolla-do with the ingredients from

Halmeoni’s garden, where the back gate lay open: ginger, garlic, fish sauce,

shrimp paste

8.     Knead the ingredients into each leaf so they turn crimson like the hibiscus fields

that Eomma fled from.

9.     Fold each leaf into the clay pot behind the Mugunghwa trees.

10.   Bury the pot in the ground and sit by the window, watching the swallows flit by

and the firs flutter while you wait and wait and wait.

Eric Pak is a Korean-American first year, studying Data Science with a minor in Spanish and BIP. When he’s not writing, you can find him exploring new restaurants or hanging out at the lakefill with friends.