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We stayed out until our hair singed, watched black strands split into dust on the concrete. • Once, Âu Co’ and Quân spent too long away from home. Quân tried to hold his human shape, but could not stop his tail from growing back. Âu Co’ tried to cut off her wings and bled a typhoon. • Once, a river curdled at the memory of splitting, the toxins it was fed still in the bodies of five generations. In the bombed cities, waves pull apart reconstructions of every holy building. My mother does not cry because she has already lived through this, because home is swept away every minute you’re not there. I hear her voice bend open to red gas, recede into her mother’s toothless murmurs like names heard through snow. When we are afraid, it no longer matters that we never learned to fully understand each other.

61 The Poetry Review

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