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i fold your love into paper cranes


Artwork by Vicky Wang, staff artist

i lick the edges and cut my tongue to dye the paper red before singeing the wings in a broken

fireplace.

i carry them in my pockets and fiddle with them when i’m nervous, which is most days.

i try not to rip them, but little tears just appear sometimes.

i’m sorry,

i don’t mean to hurt them.

i showed them to my friend yesterday.

i took one out of my pocket and pulled the tail to make the wings move.

i watched as it flapped its way off of the table and into the sky, joining its feathered brethren

migrating above our heads.

i wonder if it’s still up there now or if the sun has burned it to ash.

i cooked myself a meal for the first time in a long time.

i ate the steamed fish with a plastic fork and didn’t cry once.

i cried lying on the couch afterwards because the hiccups reminded me of our last dinner

together when we stuffed our faces and drank two bottles of wine and hiccuped our way

to heaven.

i lie in bed and stare out the open window where the moon hangs like a teardrop in the sky.

i want to catch it in my arms and cradle it against my chest, but people die when they jump out

windows, with no wings to take them back home.

i take out a paper crane and pull on its tail.

i let it flap its paper wings away into the night.

i don’t close my eyes until its white body fades into the sky, too high to see, indistinguishable

from the stars.


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