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boss said
work fast break things

and gave me a vase
i misunderstood   awarded
twenty stitches

without insurance. you idiot

mom says
it’s a metaphor

for things you can change
and improve   not dollar bills

crumpled and torn
because you never learned
your origami cranes

he wants a six-figure expert
on minimal wage

and gets you   head
nodder who cries through the night
trying to put back bisected pieces

instructions backwards
in greek while outside

the birds saying
we do what we have been

given to us   no more
than we deserve even

in snow   forgetting
how to fly far enough south

we find cover   shiver   puff up
to run blood hot and thick
when the world stills in white



Hal Y. Zhang is a coder and lapsed physicist who splits her time between the east coast of the United States and the Internet, where she writes at halyzhang.com. Her chapbook AMNESIA is available through the Newfound Emerging Poets Series, and her collection Goddess Bandit of the Thousand Arms was published by Aqueduct Press.
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19 Feb 2024

That was Father—a storm in a drought, a comet in the night. Acting first, thinking later, carried on not by foresight, but on luck’s slippery feet. And so we were not as surprised as we should have been when, one warm night in our tenth year on the mountain, Father showed us the flying machine.
The first time I saw stone and Bone in ocean
This is it. This is the decision that keeps you up at night.
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