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1972 you left china believing one day you’d go home 1981 show your children all they had been missing until one day june 4 1989 you knew you wouldn’t. and so instead, you taught them everything you could, the living room on dundas chinese flashcards, picture books maps spanning 2400 years, an empire’s borders shifting you believed in your flesh despite the surplus of cow’s milk and wheat they ingested, despite distance from ancestral ashes, despite american television, they would be different, they were different. years later you were able to say you’re not what i expected their bones, your mutant hopes forever calcifying, flesh marbled with your affectionate perplexity.