The walls of your flat are white.
Colours and voices unpetal from the TV.
You have lived here for years,
remembering life behind a closed door
as death peels your twig body.
It is hard to imagine you as fat or young,
rage filling your dry hands
and mouth like hot sand,
let alone the violence that razed
the goodwill of your neighbours
and brought one angered man to the house
swinging a whip at your face.
My mother's story broke there.
Now when we visit you it's like a silent movie
or the glossy calm of a family portrait
slicked over your scarred night.
The reason we are here is irrevocable,
red and fleeing under our skin.
By Teng Qian XiQLRS Vol. 5 No. 2 Jan 2006