My Own

Photo by René Hallen and Radka Leitmeritz


In the city 
I have found my people.
We sit on streets and call men by different words.

In this city, 
I have made a language 
with those who speak tongues that are not mine.


She is my own by virtue of alikeness.

She smiles at me like a reflection.
There is brown where brown is, 
soft yellow skin 
and eyes that curve like lotus petals folded thinner.
The nip of cold mountain air 
shines on cheeks that tan like mine in tropical heat.
Her lips speak words 
to familiar people in language I know. 
She smiles at me and there’s sameness.

She smiles at me and I see difference.
We speak and do not understand.
Our eyes are cut from the same flower
and her reflection is not mine.

becomes what I choose to speak
only with those 
who I make my own.

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