Moving language

“Language is the house with lamplight in its windows,

visible across fields.  Approaching, you can hear

music; closer, smell

soup, bay leaves, bread – a meal for anyone

who has only his tongue left.

It’s a country; home; family;

abandoned; burned down; whole lines dead, unmarried.

For those who can’t read their way in the streets,

or in the gestures and faces of strangers,

language is the house to run to;

in wild nights, chased by dogs and other sounds,

when you’ve been lost a long time,

when you have no other place.”

~ Anne Michaels


Learning the language I moved (in)to, I hold it to my ear like a shell,

hearing waving white noise and (be)longing;

gradually letting it soften and salt my tongue.

My (own) language is an ocean away; I keep walking its shore in my dreams.

*How do you place yourself in a foreign language? ~RSVP


One thought on “Moving language

  1. do we place ourselves in a language or does language/home place itself in us?
    still waiting for the moment that I will stop placing my self in the foreign language(s), and feel it planting home in me..

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