I was born in Maoming
to the sounds of sirens and in the midst of yellow smoke,
I was blessed.
I could have died nine minutes into my life.
Or before I took in my first polluted breath.
I could have been killed at the hands of my creators.
In my dreams, I was given a name
something short and dispassionate
a name to forget,
that I would never hear,
that would float down the banks of the Yangtze
where it could never be forgotten in the restless thoughts of a woman.
Christmas Eve, I flew home,
Now with a name, an embrace and a country.
My lips for the first time broke from my ingrained frown
And found the shape of a smile.
My mother held me in her arms and
I became a blessed one once more.
Our nation often speaks divided
We struggle against the crushing weight
Of our own choices,
and against an endless Rubiks cube of a system.
Yet, in this country, I smiled for the first time.
For love, for happiness,