The archaeologist’s daughter grew up in tombs. She spent her early childhood crawling through the volcanic ash, which preserved time. Her father dug tunnels in the ground, uncovered death masks, stumbled upon bones of winged beasts, while her baby hands clutched the cold earth.
Palace flags and shoot-to-kill orders,
cardboard tanks and well-lit borders,
dungeons and lice, grenades and books,
photos retouched and high-kicking boots,
I would cut off my own thumb for the perfect thimbleful
of wood-ear mushroom and bamboo shoot soup.
My paychecks all go to heirloom parsnips and pickled lamb tongues.
I dream of singed pigs’ feet, pearly cartilage and crisp skin.