I may have been born
with my hair in an old
lady bun, my hands buried
deep in the pockets
of a skirt too long for me;
with my feet in socks
wrapped and layered
to cover the peeling scabs.
I may have been born with
a stray tooth sown
in the bed of my gum,
a penchant for blinking
furiously until tears came.
The walls of my father’s
house were full of women’s
secrets: with whispering
above piles of laundry,
and clouds of dirty blood
dissolving in the water.
Someone shook
condensation out
from inside the rice
pot’s lid, and a few
drops touched my cheek.
I came to know how salt
cradles the body in warm
waters at birth, and
how we carry its taste
with us into our afterlife.

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