My Inner Brewing Conflicts by Alana Guifarro
 

motherland

by Evangelina Ariana Thornton


your eyelids slope like yunnan’s

mountainous horizon; your skin is the pale-

yellow of your grandparents’ love letters;

the bridge of your nose, the peak of a

muddy shallow gorge; your hair is woven

from the wooden silk loom. Child, curve

your pink lips like the weathered moon gate

in darkened gardens, to form the vowels that

don’t exist in your second language. This is

how we say go and collect, the steamed fish

of spring festival feasts and the lush-green

rice paddies you have never seen. Your

tongue flounders like a foreigner’s; your

muscles strain in international waters.

Sleepless, you bend over your bathroom

sink, excavating your reflection. Your irises

are the black ink of pine resin soot, bones

exposed like unraveled handscrolls. You toil

with your mouth until your cheeks sting and

thighs twinge, staying there until the moon

rises in that distant country, struggling to

speak to the origins of your body and to

enunciate your motherland.