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Father Benides touched me in my special
place when I was eight. Then he put
his little man—like the neck of a goose
tethered to a telephone pole—to my forehead.
Families locked away in their houses—
drained swimming pools, deserted
runways, the flooded river. Everyone
is the way they are. I think
I laughed—as if I knew where I was
going, as if my shadow jogged on
before me. It’s not well to laugh
at another man’s misfortune. Father
Benides only smoothed my hair—I stared
at the chips in the ceiling. My conscience
is clear as regards having done
my duty. It’s his anger I envy most
today; his anger and his directness.
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The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.
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