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A quarterly international literary journal

If Tradition Applies



By Daniel W.K. Lee


/ Poetry /

I wonder if there will ever again be a child named Katrina here inside this sickle of the Mississippi or in the hurled-out diaspora, that scarlet name uttered—I’ve noticed— over fifteen years on—once per conversation. Chinese names are often characteristics or destinies our parents hope for us like beautiful, peace, fortune, heaven… If that tradition applies, who could call their newborn that which means sledgehammer of water, levees leveled like baby teeth that euphemism for both decomposed auntie interred in attic and open-air tomb synonym of a wound then scab unobligated to reveal its healing beneath a burr of generational memory that we were never only once a flood.


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