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Auntie taught you her secret

recipe, the one that coaxes

the sleepless into dream.

She taught you how to distill

a potion to protect your lover's

skin from fire. She told you

the secret of your father's

dragon, how its teeth hold

warriors ready to defend

the city in time of need.

But Auntie never taught you

how to transform men, to see

into their hearts. She never

told you of the pain

when your husband leaves

you for a woman—no, a girl—

who knows nothing of potions

nor sacrifices, who would never

bloody her hands to save his life.

Auntie never said: Don't be a wife.

Emily Jiang holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California and a BA in English from Rice University. Her poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, and Weird Tales. Her debut picture book Summoning the Phoenix was listed among the Best Children’s Books of the Year by Kirkus Review and The Huffington Post.
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