A Language That Opened My Mouth


The untrainable dog
that attacks you for no reason

The nurses that don’t understand
your cries

A foreign hospital and the ER hallway
Where no one knows your fear of needles

But everyone holds you down and
treats the continuously bleeding gash on your face

It is the sharp pain
No anesthesia, IV inserted

The air bubble that creeps
The nurse already halfway down the hall

Walk, move, twitch
Throw up

Scabs, pulled, picked
Gently myself

Caught, stopped, back to the doctor
Bleed again

Start middle school
Scars decorating cheek and lip

Quiet the child becomes
Tired from a memory

That haunts dreams
That haunts wake

The stream of thought never went away
It bubbles at the back of the throat

But the openness is sewn
shut after a mistake

A home
no long comforting

The fear of mistranslation, mistake
Mouth closes and language becomes barrier


Page Guide

Page 2: Self-Portrait
Page 3: Hyphen
Page 4: “What do you remember about the Earth?”
Page 5: A Language That Opened My Mouth
Page 6: Help Me Get Ready: Monologue
Page 7: A Color I Can’t Escape


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