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Portrait of My Father Smoking

By Jinhao Xie

after your brother went missing after

your mother disappeared after the stainless

-steel door shut its mouth like a fish after

emptying aquarium tank filled with stones

paint him into summer on a wooden stool

his stumped legs his back against the cold back

of his sin his torso his arms mosquito

bites of his mistresses put him in polyester

shorts with tropical prints let his waist hang

out like his favourite pork dishes spit

sweat on him like he’d worked spread his legs

wide open his crotch blunt his horn make him

smile like anyone would to a stranger light up

his Marlboro like a burnt fingertip

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