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PEEL

My grandfather hides in a closet.
“I’m not afraid of dying in this war,”
he screams. Bullets

blotted out the sky
in 1945. Flower printed
futon-mattresses caught fire. Ash

stuck in my grandfather’s eyes. Like rotten
fruit, only the skin held a human
shape. His shoes were scorched.

Alzheimer doesn’t destroy war memories.

“Do you want to eat a tangerine?” I asked.
He crouches in the closet,
stroking his dried toes. I sit next to him. Cicadas

recite Buddhist sutra in silence. I trace
the tangerine’ peel and think of your
smooth body. My nails

pierce skin. Juice rolls
down between my fingers.
I lick

their tips next to the shaking old man.

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