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Anyway, the wish begins by tearing off

the calendar’s wrinkled face. It begins with

cilantro boats floating on my mother’s soup

like lily pads. It begins as confessions flown

by flocks of pigeons, a constellation of kisses

on another boy’s lips. The wish is the reason

I dream of deer, of peonies. It knows not the reasons

for the orphaning of my city, nor the origins

of parting. The wish orchestrates reunions,

holds me tight in the airport’s stainless lounge.

It phones my sister to ask about the wedding.

It phones my father and says I forgive

everything. The wish knows forgiveness is an art

I should teach myself. It remembers my mother,

her jade pendant slumbering in a lacquer box

six thousand miles away. It remembers

my grandmother holding me without even

knowing my name. The wish wants us

to be better at departures. It knows

every story must have its own winter.


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Mountain View

So much beautiful time

The wish, like any wish, must choose

a place to end. It ends with the soft clinking

of chopsticks, fresh sprigs of scallion,

fish steamed to ivory, served on an ochre mat.

It ends with laughter in the grand room

of our mouths. It ends with me

on a marigold road, haloed with dusk,

looking for home.