Hal Y. Zhang

Author’s Notes: Swallow

Read the poem first!

July 29-September 8, 2017

This is the first poem I ever wrote. Not surprising it involves food, one of the great loves of my life.

There is a Chinese belief (common in other cultures too, I’m sure) that your past life affects your present. If you died a violent death, you might get that wound as a birthmark. Or maybe if you were some animal the previous life, you won’t like to eat it this life. So I thought about something along those lines and wrote the first half, then got stuck and let it float in the back of my mind for a while. When one day I came up with a more direct “you give birth to the reincarnation of something you ate” rule, the rest flowed from there.

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