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china;

Don’t talk to me about home,
The textbook macabre of savage wheat fields
Stashed in the palms of rusty wicker men
Who were burnt raw by molten ore.
Talk to me instead of the rolling smog,
The hazel cotton that laces through my eyelashes
And mummifies the skyline, leaving only
Fluorescent squares of yellow insomnia bare.

Don’t talk to me about hardship,
The arthritic ligaments of the ancient fiddler
Shoved behind a window of sawdust and shame,
A clay man who was ripped into sediment by the kiln.
Talk to me instead of my grandmother,
The mud in the creases of her pockmarked hands
And how she ties tea leaves over my sticky cuts,
Singing a winter monsoon onto my sun-dried skin.

Don’t talk to me about heart,
The papyrus-woven spine of my family tree
Stained by defective firecrackers and birthday yolks,
Pressed under the gray leather of my father’s wallet.
Talk to me instead of the river children,
The fluttering paper lanterns they sold in khaki baskets,
How crippled they felt in my suburban arms
As I sunk them into the moonlight on the very last day



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