Border studies

Eat, says the matriarch. Have you eaten?
say the elders in lieu of hello. It takes years
before you understand: each grain under the tongue,
each mouthful of rice wine protects— Since your breath
has warmed the pocked bowl of the spoon, the goats
will take salt from your hands. Clotheslines sag
with the weight of damp coats and ghost hands.
You know when the sky turns milky, when the house
fills with the sound of mandibles clicking. Eat,
they tell you again. Our troubles are nothing.


In response to Via Negativa: Surfeit.

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