Proof

They say my great uncle read foreign books
in a mud house in Nanking,
plowed his twenty acres, listened to
rare birds, disregarded
the willow's hush. One day he knelt in the street,
sign around his neck
that said: Traitor. Little Red Book spread like wax
on his back, even
birds spun their heads around. He labored with
peasants, hands turned rough.
He must have had eyes like golden orbs.
One day he disappeared.
I am standing in the dirt in La Jolla, perpendicular
to the earth,
weeds exploding, rows and rows of berries, clouds
that reach and sever.
He is hanging from a mud house in Nanking,
perpendicular to the earth.
Our angles are equal, therefore we are parallel.
Then there must be two birds, two shores,
two deaths.

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