Jan/Feb 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 1 PoetryJanuary 11, 2022 |

Four-Leaf Clover

Night falls, and I open the album I’ve chosen not to open until now. At first, I didn’t understand why she left it to me: Polaroids of a honeymoon in Vegas, mimeographed evacuation orders— and then, a dozen four-leaf clovers pressed between waxed paper, looking, somehow, less fragile dried than alive. We picked them together. Or, over twenty years, I watched her comb through tall grass in parks, baseball diamonds, overgrown lots, the backyard of the house they would lose to debt—sifting stalks so tangled they rippled like water under her hands. What is luck but an endless negotiation between what one wants and will not have? Having been an orphan, having been born with a face that led to a camp, she had seen more cruelty than kindness. She saw it blossom in me: Yancha bozu, she muttered whenever I hid LEGO in my sister’s shoes, shattered a snail’s whorled home—Engimono each time she found those four lobed leaves, their radial symmetry like a

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