When the Emperor Was Divine

Lange

So go ahead and lock me up. Take my children. Take my wife. Freeze my assets. Seize my crops. Search my office. Ransack my house. Cancel my insurance. Auction off my business. Hand over my lease. Assign me a number. Inform me of my crime. Too short, too dark, too ugly, too proud. Put it down in writing—is nervous in conversation, always laughs loudly at the wrong time, never laughs at all—and I’ll sign on the dotted line. Is treacherous and cunning, is ruthless, is cruel. And if they ask you someday what it was I most wanted to say, please tell them, if you would, it was this: I’m sorry. There. That’s it. I’ve said it. Now can I go? (Julie Otsuka)

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