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two cries

by George Sun

On January 21, 2023, a gunman entered Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, and killed eleven people. The victims were in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. The gunman and many of the victims were Asian. The day was Lunar New Year’s Eve.

i wake up

choking on red horrors.

on TV, pops of gunshots

are fired like toys and across

the street a baby is screaming so

ferally. a dog the color

of bleach is barking. his

barks are mute, their cries

trapped behind stripes and stars.

in monterey park

paper lanterns are cracked

like brick walls,

spiderwebs in each corner wrap

bodies in caskets. an old asian man

and his wife waltz

when death extends a finger

to his heart and holds his hand

so hard until

all that is left are bones.

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