the sweet lie

my ancestors peer towards dry land from the deck

of a ship; or are they like swine, packed into the hold

to see the sun only when they arrive for the slaughter –


how do you tell those who have survived

that it is better to die than to live by trampling

on the throats of others or we are no better than


the masters who crack the whips: some of us

bend and some of us break and yet, some dream

at night of wielding the weapons so they too may rise


but to what end – a long line to stand in and swallow

the lie that we will be next. possess nothing but scrawl

of dragon and phoenix on rice paper devoured by flame


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