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(beauty peace) | Grace Yee

they found it four days after the march, a blue-lipped bulbous thing inside her head, playing

euphoria light and thin as mountain air the month before spring.

our hemispheres whitened at the edges, pressed and pressing, stonewalling surgery.

my fathers grew in a place called mei on 美安 (beauty peace), the soil there too feeble to

grow vegetables, raise a dog, much less a pig for the new year festivities.

they survived opium bandits jesus the japanese invasion long womanless chinky sojourns

around the pacific rim in all the world’s gum sarns 金山 (gold mountains).

stringing lights with the night nurse was tiresome: clamping, unclamping, watching what:

on the alpine trail it was not the view that giddied – the most important ancestral villages

thing grandfather said was still your mind.

we didn’t know that it would seep set in lumps under the paling fence beside the pergola

where the cat lay tight as a macadamia nut, nor did we foresee the leaves on the

pittosporum (pity spores) un-sheening for years after, no one knew

Grace Yee's poems have most recently appeared in Overland, Meanjin, Rabbit and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. Grace teaches writing and literature at the University of Melbourne and is currently a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria.

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