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Read by Oliver de la Paz

Like guillotines, every lesson from childhood
taught me about precision and punishment.
What I was told, I was told truthfully. If you renounce hunger
then you have renounced nothing. Night severed day, as
every hand that fed me turned me against the last.
I was a poor girl, mortal, but I had the eyes through which
old men wanted to see — pearled tears that loved the world, occult,
tears summoned by a keen-edged slap across the face.
And now? A little sugar, a little salt: snow falling over my path,
lisping, so soft, the distance between swept and wept.

Willie Lin lives in St. Louis, MO, where she is a student in the MFA program in creative writing at Washington University.