By: Vanessa Nim

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My father’s thoughts //

encrypted, buried by the

monolithic lisp of a newcomer //

a visible other // and my own lack

of self-discipline. They say to

heal // you have to talk // but how

do you speak // when you are

being gagged by your own

mother tongue? // Every arching

tone and lisp // given in my blood

// scraping off and crusting into

dust. Characters and intonations

// lost // between my father’s

hand // and my mother’s grief.

Do you go to church, Vanessa? //

Do you know Jesus? he pleads. //

Maybe God could tell you // what

my blood failed to teach.