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This poem is taken from PN Review 265, Volume 48 Number 5, May - June 2022.

Three Poems Jay Gao
Hostis

take care, do not know me,
deny me, do not recognise me,

shun me; for this reality
is infectious
— H.D.

Flying home, west, I hitch my pity
onto the mosquito trapped under the cling film
of this exotic dragon fruit salad. On its last long leg we shared
one vessel. Its authority to inflict human suffering unsettled me,
as I carefully ate around the heritages housing its stuck body.
I had read an article that said our kinship with them
can be most compellingly imagined through the metaphor of war.
You have killed nearly half of all the humans
that have ever lived; there is little of history left over you have not
yet touched. And so, the article explained, even expatriate mosquitoes
will, one day, clandestinely evolve some resistance to their poison,
artemisinin, with each new generation. Unless we modify
...


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