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Night pools in the courtyard. This is the light
by which things can go wrong. Look at the blue
beading up along the awning, the branches,
anything still upright. With what
can we arm ourselves? A little knife of silver
night light, fireflies, head lamp, a swinging
lantern choked out in a tunnel’s throat? The clock strikes
the hour implicated by history, by fairy tale,
by pumpkin versus chariot, and now by default
we are threatened. We stay where we are. You are
caught in the crossbeam of the projector, grains
of plot stipple your cheekbones, rain over
your mouth; tell us what happens next. Foreshadowing
is a washboard rumble as the braid passes through
grommet, delivering the rigging directly
to the thundercloud. Is there a version with less sky,
more limit, more corners of cannot and a specific height
toward which we hoist our flag? No safety
in proximity. Here we are, hem to hem, and still
any element will outdo us. Can you hear the water
undo the grout out in our courtyard, the wind ripping
the insignia from the face of the flag? Even face
to face we cannot see what’s coming. Let the animal sleep
coiled in the dark, the fuse spur toward flame.
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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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