Tankman

by Kyle Liang

My son, look at how our blood runs
down the Strait of my cracked & hardened
palms. You be the chaser—
for I am done being chased. My
pores evacuate drops of
Nai nai, Ye ye, Tai pwuh, Tai gung 
for you. For you I
raise the spoon, 
trembling between my fingers,
to draw in sips.

Dripping from my chin.

All of this. Everything.
You. Splinters
find my veins while I spend my final
hairs sowing cabbages
whose heads will not emerge until after 
I can’t see them
with a splitting hoe.
But

if human flesh could feed a man

I would slice off
all of my best parts for you to eat
& before there’s nothing left
I would teach you how to build a house
from bones. A father with nothing
to give can only
sacrifice.
My son,

my bao bei.

Let my limbs be your pedals
but let it be your legs
that show you places
mine could never. For there are bullets—
bombs, tanks, machine guns
chasing us down the Strait
in black boots— 
however my chest will shield you
so that you, my son, can run.

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