–Sally Wen MaoA man celebrates erstwhile conquests,his book locked in a silo, still in print.I scribble, make Sharpie lines, defaceits text like it defaces me. Outside, grainfields whisper. Marble lions are silentyet silver-tongued, with excellent teeth.In this life I have worshipped so many lies.Then I workshop them, make them better.An East India Company, an opium trade,a war, a treaty, a concession, an occupation,a man parting the veil covering a woman’sface, his nails prying her lips open. I lovethe fragility of a porcelain bowl. How easyit is, to shatter chinoiserie, like the Handynasty urn Ai Weiwei dropped in 1995.If only recovering the silenced historyis as simple as smashing its container: book,bowl, celadon spoon. Such objects crossborders the way our bodies never could.Instead, we’re left with history, its blondedust. That bowl is unbreakable. All its ghostsstill shudder through us like small breaths.The tome of hegemony lives on, circulatesin our libraries, in our bloodstreams. One day,a girl like me may come across it on a shelf,pick it up, read about all the ways her bodyis a thing. And I won’t be there to protecther, to cross the text out and say: go ahead—rewrite this.