i feel you,
restless as the sea.
She has felt them her entire life—lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends and strangers. They rise from the dead of the sea, seeking home in her. She drowns in them, not knowing where their pain, her pain begins or ends.
They shadow her, wanting her to tell their story.
she rides waves,
searching for home.
- no one leaves home unless
On a tiny fishing boat in the middle of the ocean and nowhere, she quiets her breath until all she can hear is the rise and fall of salt water. She bends her spine, folds into herself to fit the boat’s crevices. She holds lips together, forces hard truths down her throat.
She seeks refuge in silence.
i come from the womb
of your silence.
In a sea of fishing boats, a baby girl is born. She is born to a war that has not ended yet, a war that is still felt by living and dead alike.
She opens her mouth in a silent cry.
silence is survival,
they tell her.
- wisdom rooted in scars
She remembers the tiny fishing boat in the middle of the ocean. Of how her mother stayed silent, watched hunger eat men, men break women, and the waves that swallowed them all. And how she hid her pain in the crevices of the boat.
On the playground, she quiets her breath until all she can hear are the taunts. She bends her spine, folds into herself, disappears into the ground. Pale faces spit untruths; she bites her tongue until she cannot feel voice.
She seeks refuge in silence, hoping it will save her. But it does not.
you coax out the words,
one by one,
until they become salt water.
She’s afraid that she will disappear into the silence. That the silence will swallow her, like it swallowed lost sailors in tiny fishing boats.
So, she throws an anchor into blank pages, hoping that she won’t be swept away in the margins. She puts pen to paper.
She writes herself into existence.
home is the feeling of you,
- my people
On a tiny fishing boat in the middle of the Pacific, a girl rises from the crevices. She unfolds her spine, eyes on the horizon. There, she sees another fishing boat and a boy. The boy looks at her.
They drift toward each other, drawn by home. The girl clears the cobweb of quiet in her throat. She licks lips parched from truth and speaks.
Together, they join a wave of fishing boats and journey to a golden city on the curve of a coast.
i am screaming to you in my silence.
listen for me.
what do you hear?
If she listens hard enough, she can hear them in the silence. They are talking to each other, to cousins, and to her. She tries to talk back, but her tongue has forgotten the motherland.
Instead she writes them back.