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Genealogy Studies

My great grandmother wrote in the margins of a Saturday Korean church bible:

“I used to live in a huge home in the North Korean countryside as a young girl. Now,

I live in a tiny apartment along the brown line of Chicago.” I thought of a world

where the Great White Men never decided to split the land like they were tectonic gods,

if she would have been happier somewhere else.


She is now buried in Chicago, where my grandmother will most likely be buried,

where my parents will most likely be buried. A land that both my grandfathers

have never set foot on. Perhaps this is their punishment for smoking. I think my

father worries that these vices have passed down to him, and

I think he knows this as well. Like the one time he came back home after a funeral


in the Korean Chicago church, supplicating that he hopes that he has been a good

father even though I have memories of him hitting me and smoking

cigarettes in the car. My mother has been trying to stop him. I hope that I am never

buried in that same Chicago soil.


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