Korea’s a glove, the fingerless kind.
A palm rests snug in it, the half warm, half clean, part
protected from the elements, while fingers flex unrestricted,
the tips roaming free to feel whatever they want without
any buffering layer to interfere with immediate sensation.
The glove’s lower half, the palm and back of hand protector,
smells like black leather only, because no fabric,
natural or synthetic, could express the shape
of that half a hand better than tanned, supple,
smooth animal hide, Korea a well-worked skin
preserving the lower hand as best it can,
while the other, naked half protects itself, fending
from freezing in the cold and blistering in the sun.
And Korea’s appearance, that fingerless-glove look,
it’s a tough one, the hint of some smoldering anger
that might explode in a fist thrown at any moment,
one unexpected blow that could send you reeling,
set you flat on your back in a flashing attack
from which you might never recover in the end.
Korea’s a glove, the kind that’s not a glove, really,
the type that barely covers in the way a glove should,
why a glove came to be before style intervened,
tore it in half, and left it weaker than the sum of its parts.