From Gauntlet (Nomados Press 2019)

glove1 we2 were the ones3 that didn’t fit4 so they5 were6 acquitted7 weren’t8 they9 while10 we11 got12 tossed13 back14 into the box15 got labelled16 stamped17 with18 date19 & time20 & forgotten21

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gratitude1 because2 where are you from3 because4 wow you’ve been here for such a long time because5 so you must have come here as a child because you’re such a long way from your home because6 because7 where did you learn to speak english so good because8 I’m just curious because your accent is so charming because9 you don’t look or sound like you’re from here because I’ve never seen you before

1 because i must feel so lucky to live in this country
2 where am i from where am i from where am i really really from 3 magic i’m from clouds from anywhere of nowhere that could fit
within the limits of your imagination
4 i know what alienation sounds like i really do
5 right you didn’t hear what I said can i repeat myself I have such
a sing songy way of speaking
6 these are your concerns how far i am away from home
7 at the borders between nations our tongues are measured & this
time they let me in
8 i still know what alienation sounds like I hear it every day

9 so i cannot forget what alienation sounds like