The Yongsan Grill by Michelle Park

The Yongsan Grill

On a Saturday evening, a cold breeze
swells over the streets of Itaewon.
The sky is humid grey, clouds cloaking
the night sky. The only source of light
is the glimmer of the signboards
that bleaches the sides
of the buildings. In the corner
next to exit two of Itaewon station,
beside a Gopchang restaurant,
a steakhouse. Inside, a woman sits
behind the cashier, waiting for the sound
of the bell to ring. Before her – vacant tables,
snow rippling against the pavements,
a remembering: a family of five,
walking in with their shoes half-soaked,
faces blossoming at her salmon.
But when did this become an empty shell?
The exoskeleton of it remains, but
the snail and oysters
are long gone. The woman’s eye
trails to the reflection of her restaurant’s
LED lights, which reads The Yongsan Grill.
It flickers.


Michelle Park is a 15 year old, high school freshman currently living in the Philippines. Many of her poems are about nature and her memories from her childhood. She loves to eat food, and during her free time, she likes to play soccer, dance, and listen to music.

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