I am already a black belt

I am already a black belt. I was
a black belt the first time
I donned the dobok. This blue
di: the very small part

I’ve chipped away
metal memories
sulfur pain
customs like salt on my tongue
encrustations

Now
I
smash
dig
pummel
chop
slam
strike
stab
cut
the calcified accumulations
to reveal
the black belt inside.

The Buddhists clear clouds from the face of the sun. The Daoists transcend sensing and knowing. The
Yogis quiet the fluctuations of the mind.

I am remembering
myself. Because I am already a black belt.


About the Author

Audrey McCombs

Audrey McCombs is currently a PhD student in conservation biology, is a past MFA student in creative writing and environment, and is working through the blue belt blues in Taekwondo. She served as the Creative Director for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, and her creative work has been published in The Missing Slate, Sequestrum, The Mountain, Pithead Chapel, Earthspeak Magazine, Pay Attention: a River of Stones, and Beaches and Parks from Monterey to Ventura. She dreams of a three-year vow of silence, and a house empty of everything but blank walls upon which she may, finally, write down the code that animates our brute substance.

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1 Response

  1. Melanie says:

    Love love love. Yes, my taekwondo sister, you are a black belt. With an attitude and heart like that you were a black belt the moment you donned a dobok.

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