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In our dreams the picket lines
were picket fences. In our dreams
you could run your fingers
between the two halves
of the city. Close enough
to taste the mustard greens
cooking in the neighbor’s kitchen,
your mouth filling with tears.
You could even follow the line as it curved
like parentheses through the streets and
see everything it held back
the way a dam holds the lake behind it,
or a calendar year keeps at bay
the years piling up before it.
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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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