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We cannot change our smooth smooth skin, largest organ, we
cannot grow more. Though wouldn’t it be more than a parlor
trick? I say "we," though I was only in the right place at the
right time, on display. We couldn’t use the air conditioner,
we’d said that, and then it appeared under the Christmas tree,
wrapped. Frankly, any man who discusses angels in a tree
opening and closing their wings just puzzles the guests. So
they cannot open their mouths. Or will not, which is the
Well, listen: the mailbox fell open during the night and snow
drifted in. An uncomfortable open mouth, something open
that should have been closed. Even if I thought my problems
were solved, I wouldn’t let the cameras in like that. Her
daughter waited three months for her birthday money. How
much did they spend on furniture? So dark and imposing. So
grown up. I can’t hate money when it has such a pretty face.
It wasn’t like that, she’ll remember, reading romances and
listening to opera. No life and death. No I can’t live without
you. He had a habit of holding his breath while kissing her.
So there’s that. But he is not likely to remember. Please, pull
the shade. So many people discuss a decision but do not make
it clear. I can see the two men in hats nodding mournfully.
It’s no. They would like it–the formula, the antique chair,
the six babies–but cannot. So they put on brave faces. Who
can look more sorrowful, us or them?
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
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.