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After the Cold the Cold

— Marco Yan

Ines and I stood at the north-
western tip of Hong Kong

with patient squints, watching
the blackface spoonbills

rest by the mangroves, then
leap, in unison, to flight.

They went further south
and passed the marsh, the coast,

their white feathers untouched
by the winter monsoon,

which was here to stay—
didn’t we believe they’d return

after the cold, and the faint
narrow line their taut wings

reduced to was the best omen
anyone could ever have?


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