Let me repeat: of the different varieties, it's the guilt of being one without the attendant narratives of fire and night, children littering the shore like sea-glass, or walking across entire continents, soles bloodied, coupled with the fact that I’ve never used the word to describe myself, not once in 43 years until today. Refugee. Yes, I have always called myself an immigrant, but it is only now in this icy light that I bend my knee and bow, the top of my head sword-kissed. Once, I got on a plane, I left, it was done, I became me, I did not suffer in the way of such suffering, but I am a refugee from a war this country conducted. May this be the dawn of an era in which we do not have to live a particular life in order to respect it. The way 19th-century art brought us the word empathy. Before then, there was only a luminousness we had to believe was there.
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