in the epoch of biodiversity dwindle is a vestigial ritual. We use our fists to carry the heaviest things. I can still feel thick smoke from the refineries in my throat. In this city of pollutant speckling the wide blue sky like rows of needlewater, acid rain falls slant.
Confession: I don’t know my ancestors’ names. Also: my Mandarin is lousy. I have never been to our ancestral village. My grandparents were dead before I was a teenager, and I still haven’t set up a proper altar in our house with photographs and incense.
For this issue, we are asking you to dig deep into the root of a word, a concept, or a belief, and to tell us what you find. What are the institutions — family, religion, education, and beyond — that dictate your understanding of the world, and where do you locate the sting of disillusionment?