Inside me, a family

Ching-In Chen

“To walk in the world is to find oneself in a body without papers, not a citizen of anything but breath.”
      —Kazim Ali, Silver Road

born from small
waters. Each night,
I look for paper
to feed this first litter
from a slow continent.

New trappers buy
their fetters and hooks,
dreaming of new skin
to drape. In the sky, a wound

like river, opening up again
to bird. Neighborhood pushes
against seams, dislikes
a newcomer. This linked
to history and forgetting—
a new gray house like a weed.

A monument rises past the window. We sit and drink twice-steeped tea.

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