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Alyss

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ACQUAINTED

A scene at the dinner table, imaginary rice bowls
      clanking clanking clanking till all the chopsticks break to
      pierce every fixated white eye

A chance to maim any claim to malleability, out
      now, get out now

A splinter cracks wide open
      the fat ceramic, red blood on white, bleeding sensation of
      fate in your gut

A mountain is only yours when it’s permeable,
      fingernails soil-cracked yellow
      up to your elbows in salt

Another genuine white friend stopped at
      the threshold of your house, confused, so
      confused

A white baby in savage bloom, in waiting to
      brandish your guts with
      every stain you buried in haste

All your poetry situated in the united states, a landscape
      whose innocence throbs with the
      heat of piss, shiny so shiny

How do you tell anyone who would listen

See that it’s not too late to
      begin again: side-eye the pliant white of this page,

Gentle, like a multiplication table

All the answers pulsating in the fist you hide behind your back

Grace Liew

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