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Genetics by Brandon Shane


In Poland, I have a cousin

who lives in an old Soviet bloc,

and on the outside you'd think ruin,

trash everywhere, young bodies

dying of sickness, but there was a nice

wooden table with a sunflower cloth,

wallpaper that peeled in elegance,

white lilacs and pink flamingos,

and her spirit was strong,

and she did nothing with her time,

and all her neighbors loved her

as they looked at me in curious

defense, Japanese boy with bronze

Okinawan skin, the easterly city of Dębno,

somehow related to this Polish woman,

they didn't believe her, thought I was

some boyfriend she was embarrassed

to admit; how we laughed knowing

it would be incest & inbred

while both of us so different,

dangerously alike, my beloved cousin

in Dębno.


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