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A response to Decoy Gang War Victim, 1974, by Asco (photographer: Harry Gamboa, Jr.)


Those [epithets],
taking over our
street, she’d say,
faraway disgust in
her eye, our flagstone
patio receding,
the soft trickle of the
masking screams and shouts
from another time.
I played with my doll,
but she didn’t
It wasn’t until I
grew up and left
that I realized,
roughly, finally—
that where you come from,
what language you speak,
how you struggle,
what your mother
cooks you for lunch—
these things are in no way
related to your worth.

Heather Shaff

Heather is a book designer based in Boston who, when she’s not writing or taking care of the fam, can be found racing her bike, enjoying nature, or just daydreaming.

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