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By David Chen

outside the old immigrant couple’s chinese

american restaurant: the sunrays

leap over the mountain, 

leak into the valley. 

right there, under the roof’s overhang,

the spider moves 

in for the evening 

to set its web, 

weaving together 

the strands of sticky silver. 

when night falls, 

the lights will blink on— 

this is the way we’ve built our world.

the gnat will fly by and pause; 

drawn by the glowing warmth; 

it will flutter near and nearer. 

with one misflap of its wings 

or a little wind, 

the gnat will trap itself. 

It is the way 

this world built us—we displace

ourselves to chase

after things that we think 

will keep us alive.

David Chen is a Chinese-American writer from Minnesota. His work has been recognized nationally by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and YoungArts, and is in or forthcoming at Kissing Dynamite, the Blue Marble Review, the Renaissance Review, the Lunar Journal, and elsewhere. He is also a co-EiC of Aster Lit, and you can find him at @davidsongchen on both Twitter and Instagram.

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