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close the door that lets infection in to heal on its own / time immune system rehearsing its answer to / affliction


at 6 my skin___bursts into pale___hills after each shower
scarlet planets garland___my throat___by 14
rashes bloom behind elbows___& ears my tenderest
bends___grin redly___my aunt says no one
will marry you scaly-___faced & stubborn

when I return to Hong Kong___at 22 your tendency to tear
my skin new mouths___soothes beneath the warm-wet
blanket of home___for a month___humidity licks___my joints
whole___until Toronto you shimmy to the surface
the doctor says avoid triggers___but the trigger is living

here at___all___my life___my dislocation has migrated
between my eyes an itchy___patch on my left shoulder
blade I cannot reach___drizzle of pink stars astride
my neck___symptom of my upbringing like me
you are impossible to love___so you’ve been told
but bless___the wound that does not

close___the door that lets infection in___to heal on its own
time___immune system rehearsing___its answer to
affliction I recognize___my people___by the way we wear
our seams___under our sleeves like velvet___cheeks
flake to air___newborn stars dusting in reverse
every cannibal___inhale we breathe___ourselves
in___an act___of inheritance

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