"We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory."
My ancestors’ language is a tongue
twister, too many consonants gnawed
from the back of the jaw, vowels flung
from the nose, demanding a fraud
of more openness and clarity than I
can muster. Sometimes I wake up, awed
that I had spoken my language fluently, my
tongue no longer stiff. In every dream,
I look at the world I left once, to untie
my throat, finding myself back in the stream
that led to a home I knew as another
childhood, before it would unseam itself
to fit into another childhood, only memory,
my leg, jerking me back to reality, stuttering.