Act 2, Scene 1

(through the peephole)

Why are you here?
          I stole too many words.
Are you bringing them back?
          I have looked. They are nowhere.
I need you to try harder.
          They’ve had time to run far.
I need you to try harder.
          I am too tired to hunt.
We have nothing without them.
          You may not recognize them.
I’ll make them mine again.
          They may be dead, you know.
I need you to try harder.

Act 2, Scene 4
(over dimsum)

          Have you heard of spillage?
Is that a new word?
          It is a moment when everything
          you’ve held falls out, becomes oil,
          becomes vapor, becomes knife.
          Rebirth means nothing after that.
But you are here.
          Only a little.

Act 3, Scene 3
(on the terrace)

In the past, there was always a future
where I spoke a whole language
(on good days, even three).
          We’ll invent a new language.
Will it be whole?
          We can try.
Will it hurt?
          Less than silence.
Will we include spillage?
          I wish we didn’t have to.
What if we lose this one too?
          I’m sorry.

First published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, as third place winner of the 2012 “Encountering” Poetry Contest, here

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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