Dragon Boat Festival

I soak the glutinous rice, dates, wash bamboo leaves,
curl a leaf into a funnel,

festival in my rhythm, drop the rice and dates in,
imagine dates releasing
syrup into rice, wrap leaf over leaf, tie the bundles
with hemp string,

let them boil, cover their small ache. Today they found
twenty-eight of them—
baby girls wrapped in nylon tote bags, on a bus to Anhui,
black sprigs of hair,

faces purple from injections, twenty-five dollars each
on the black market.
It is dusk. I snip the string, unwrap the leaves,
the rice pulses with steam,

black dates ache, the wind smells of wet grass, sugar,
fractured flesh.
I take a bite, as if for the first time, but no longer
like the taste on my tongue.

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