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To Be Behind

China and the Treaty of Versailles


Grace Pansze
Mine are hands behind the curtains
Bound by blood and chains
I have touched a thousand mountains
Atop countless worlds and plains
Mine are the calloused fingers broken
Torn raw by flame and steel
They mend the blemished earth and ocean
Now mangled, scarred, and seared
Mine is the only wasteland
With no sky and no sea
My grasp remains unbroken
Even lost in this infinite syncope
Mine is the one beyond the wall
A host of unforgiving wintry
A barren field among nightfall
Gripped by frigid air so simply
Mine are the crimson scales
That slither in with moon
Staining every fingernail
A grim, gruesome twilight monsoon
Mine are the only flowers
So beautiful in bloom
A single seed with such power
Can only lead to tombs
Mine are the ones that are behind
Left confined in chains of rust
And it is to my hands design
That they all crumble to dust.