aimee-li1983 Colors of GuangzhouIt is 1983. The
air hangs as heavy as
ripe red fruit does off the
colonies of banyan trees.

My mother is a small
blossom, pink and white just
starting to open. On tiny feet,
she walks a rust red bicycle.

She sees him emerge from
purple morning haze. Demure
and pliable, she is kaolin
clay in his hands.

His voice sounds of azure
sharp sea glass. She caves in and
tells him her name in a single
jasmine breath: June.

She doesn’t realize
it’s a fox trap. I want
to run out from behind
the spindle bushes,

warn her that he will
only plunder and raid her
young taut body, storm blue and
black onto her alabaster clay,

teach her children to
be just as hard and cruel as
he is. He will chisel away
at her porcelain bones until

the shards form a
celadon portrait of

family.

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