by Conny Borgelioen
What is in a name,
a palatalisation of an origin.
The smallest variation of strange,
Vowels and consonants clash and eddy
on a mirror.
My hair lays flat as the clay fields of my mother’s polders
and my face traces the distant memory of my father’s.
This body is divided, the linea alba is a train track
through this landscape, running from the sand cliffs on the beaten beach
to the hills and mountains of the green south.
This flesh craves soft leafy light to mollify the tension.
I receive a wet birthday card yearly,
for not having grown strong roots.
If I were a tree, they would cut me into a ship.
If I were a tree, I could provide my own dappled shade.
There is too much light
on this stretch of sand and clay.
The third letter of my name rolls into ears like a carriage,
but it is the tail they trip over.
Strange how even this small thing
makes the ground sterile.
Appeared in Issue Fall '23
First Language(s): Dutch
Second Language(s): English, French
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