Red is for China.

the blood of martyrs dyed this flag.

No one ever explained to me the idea of symbolism, so for ten years I pledged my life and soul to that larger-than-life flicker of flame leaping in the wind. To be a figurehead is to be adored yet lonely, loved yet hated.

it looks like a broken bird upon the ground.

We wore red scarves that blocked no wind in the winter and raised rashes in summer, cheap red cloth that fade with each wash, but blood is immortal. The value of martyrs is that they last forever.

Now I stand in this classroom with my coal-black hair and another language locked behind my lips. I will not say the pledge--if I were the flag, I would prefer silence rather than the desecration of lies.

I am one of you, so in your language I trace out the veins of my first love, whose words are too clumsy and unwieldy on my tongue. So I do not use them. I put them on the pedestal of my mind and worship them as idols.

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