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I long for what I’ve never known: a word
that captures the foreign feels of speech surging
from my throat, the ways they shake and crack with
fury and failure as I break away
from the safety of silence, in jagged
and fragmented sentences–I’m desperate
to seize meaning, trying words like puzzle
pieces, I’ll force them to fit together
to form the spaces of pieces missing.
My greatest fear is to be incomplete.

And I’m constantly reminded of this
over coffee-talk and shared politics
as I recoil shyly in forced defense
of each vowel, and every consonant
and the myriad of their constructions:
they are stuck behind my eyes. I am left
apologizing for my vagueness and
for the grey shades of embarrassment and
finite language–when a dictionary
is never a long enough read for the
lone, longer walk around the circumference
of my head–or any red eye flight I have
ever caught that takes me from thought to thought:

the moving belts of baggage claim don’t
have to tell me of the luggage I lost.
As possessions were plucked from circuitry
I clung to the emptiness as if it
was mine and took it home as leverage.
I write in circles ’til I’m motion sick.
I write myself into thought-asylums
where silence is another language:
a slow germination of roots lacing
down the bell-curve of my spine.
A foreign tongue, An othered alphabet.