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Mary-Kim Arnold, Age 19

Mary-Kim Arnold is the author of Litany for the Long Moment, forthcoming from Essay Press in 2017, and holds graduate degrees from Brown University and Vermont College of Fine Arts; born in Seoul and raised in New York, she currently lives in Rhode Island. Presented here is a piece from college.

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A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes
A Thousand Cranes

— Mary-Kim Arnold, Age 19

Mary-Kim Arnold

“So, the fact that this is the only photo I could track down from this time in my life is, I suppose, a bit telling. I was a freshman at Brown—melodramatic and goth-y. My friend Kirsten (far left in round sunglasses) and I called ourselves the ‘sisters of imminent death’ (or ‘SOID’ for short). As the first in my family to go to college, I had left home (Brewster, NY) with a kind of scorched-earth approach; I never planned to return. I considered myself edgy—wore all black all the time and smoked Dunhills in cafes (because you could still smoke in cafes back then). This poem was the final project for my first poetry class. Looking back, I can see I was attempting to address issues of identity and rupture—themes I am still working with now. “