Year of the Black Tiger

On an elvan stone, eggs
become nutty and brown.
Daltokki 달토끼

is the moon rabbit
who threw themselves
into a fire. This year

is for my ancestors. As
sunlight hits some grass,
black is yin like water.

By a street I am on,
I taste pa
(green onions), Korean

women pick plant
elixirs. As if we are
magnificently bare like clouds

or forest mushrooms,
my omma gives me
my life which is as sweet

and maddening as love. We
are sharing—a promise:
white rice cakes in a clear broth—

on our lunar new year, our Seollal 설날


Note from the author: “Year of the Black Tiger” includes a reference to Daltokki (달토끼). According to “The Moon Rabbit (Daltokki, 달토끼),” appearing in Gwangju News, the rabbit is an important symbol during Chuseok and appears in the retelling of a Korean folktale: “Ashamed at his feeble offering, the rabbit, in an act of self-sacrifice, proceeded to ignite the grass he’d gathered and threw himself into the flames to be eaten by the beggar as a meal.”

Bo Hee Moon is a South Korean adoptee. Born in South Korea, she was adopted at three-months-old and grew up in Illinois. Her poems have appeared in Cha, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, The Margins, Tupelo Quarterly, Zone 3, and others. Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs, published by Tinderbox Editions, is her debut collection of poems.  You can find her at

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