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from the August 2016 issue

We Deliver More Than We Promise

Everything but everything was just so sweet
To cater to his every wish
To allow him to do exactly as he pleased with me
To sacrifice the self I’d lost completely
Entirely to him

It was all so trivial it’s hardly worth mentioning
But it shimmered with light

I’m a pig, he said, isn’t that right?
I’m the pig, I said, you’re just an idiot
We were like vodka with a vodka chaser and a litter of kids who were just like honey
Our kids will never forget vodka with a vodka chaser
And honey

We are hoping their hard drives will never stop expanding
To reduce the likelihood of our being deleted

Though this is hardly the sort of thing you can share with just anyone
Our only friend lived so far off
We rarely saw him more than once a year

How could we explain to him
We were looking for a
Three-room apartment
Preferably with a balcony where we could put a washer
A place not far from work

The agents were very kind
But a little annoying
For though it wasn’t really cold
They were always wearing a coat and tie

They were all so very kind though so much so
That in the end we got together and opened up a coffee shop

Business was brisk the place simply bustling
People kept coming for coffee
It got to where we knew nearly everyone 

© Hsia Yü. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2016 by Steve Bradbury. All rights reserved.

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