Lost in Translation

you don’t ever notice her, but she’s there,

the smiling woman with her home in the

corner of the screen,

spilling a foreign tongue from her fingertips,

touching them gently to her lips,

transfusing the words into her veins and

letting them fly like newborn moths

upon release.

you don’t notice her,

but she’s there,

making sense of the politician’s words

to deaf organs, ill-adapted genetics.


it’s not unlike the silent way

my pen scrapes mountains and oceans between

the cavernous spaces of blue lines,

dotting creations with the sun and moon and

distant stars you like to whisper to

when the world hurls too many unanswerable

questions at your toes.

you ask me why, why I devote my words to

the crushed pulp of trees, bleached and

worth 1.2 oxidized pennies

and I laugh because you do not see—


I am the invisible woman in your peripheral.

the world around me oscillates, leaving marks

on its skin as it collides with neighboring galaxies

like stories dropped to earth by some unknown being

and I watch from my window seat, in awe.

you ask me why the pen is my sixth finger

and I laugh because you do not see—

it is so much more.


when was the last time you heard me

wax poetic about this place, this place

I’ve admitted, in the choke of dawn,

confounds me?

when have you heard me sigh that the moment when

the clementine sunset meets the rippling ocean

is just a simple reaction created by the earth orbiting

the raging star we feel but cannot bear to see?


put my grandmother’s gravelly gravestone under

a microscope

and dare to tell me that all you see is rock,

crumbling to dust under weight of gravity and time.

take the children’s size 2 shoe lost in the county playground

and find the nerve to say that it means as much as

finding a penny, tails up.

look around you, at every crack in the wall, every freckle on

sun-kissed skin, and every toothless grin

and tell me that the world is not a place with stories written

on the ridges of its spine,

lost in translation and begging with the swing of tides and

mountains of ash rising from volcanoes

to be understood.


you ask me why I find solace in words,

and I grin because it’s not me who finds comfort in the tales

spun from simple observations hidden under our feet.

it’s the earth, this unbelievable life throbbing around us, that

speaks to our deaf ours, trembling to be heard.

it’s the people and places and things around me,

tapping my shoulder like an old friend,

needing a favour:


“tell my story, little woman in the corner of the screen

so maybe

all this

can make more sense” 


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