by Julie Leung

In those years,

you and I were told to leap

for a world suffused with sound

and industry.


They taught you to kneel,

heavy and ox-like,

in the rice fields.


You drowned your books in the mud

and I forgot the old ways of writing.


You and I were told to leap

for a leaden world, silenced. 

And when you fell under its weight,

they dragged you through the public square.

I pried the slivers of glass out of your knees

and removed the placard from around your neck.