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In the beginning, the women were gooseberries. Plump on the vine, squashed under toe, murderous towards pine. When the rains fell, they became millipedes, scrabbling in pain for warm dirt. When the air dried, they jumped into the pond, careening as frogs, then tadpoles, then eggs. Under the moonlight, they danced as dandelion wisps. It is each speck of them, carried by the northerly wind, that became one of us.

Michelle Xu is a physicist by day and writer by night. Her work has previously appeared in Cheap Pop, Riggwelter Press, and Ghost Heart Literary Journal.

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