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“Homecoming” by Tiffany Kang

The Excelano Project Fall 2012 Show: Mother Tongue

Find Myself

There are too many lost selves
that look just like mine
so it’s harder to find myself today.

I’ll just let my lost self dance
to having never been found,
to always being on the verge

of living, and then I’ll leave it behind,
follow my footsteps
wherever they take me.

I have come to realize it is okay to be saved
by things, not people,
so that’s where my body heads most times, 

I find myself learning from trees -
it’s okay to lose my most colorful self
only to a cold world - 

and learning from poetry,
always making beauty out of
overused words,

I let my self be overused
while it’s lost
so I can claim it back

only to tear it down,
so that there’s nothing lost
that needs to be found.

 

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“Chaos” – from the Excelano Spring 2011 show, “We Real Cool”
(sometimes watching old poems is a terribly odd experience. a little like reviving a corpse.)

not spaced well

When we fought, it was always in my car, and always about how to maintain a long distance relationship.
 
Our opinions split like twin sides of a highway. And when wanted I our words to stop hurling themselves at their partition, I would close my eyes, grip the wheel and say,
 
Lead me.
 
You always reacted quickly.
 
Love, at the time, was as simple as not wanting to explain the wreckage of ourselves to our parents and also not wanting each other to die.
 
So you said,
A little to the left
That’s good, straight,
Don’t worry.
 
I crossed a bridge with my eyes closed. Once,
I drove for a half a song on i95 at 70 miles per hour.
 
It wasn’t so much that I wanted to distract you. Rather, I wanted to show you that we could keep moving forward even when I couldn’t see you or know what was ahead,
 
To us, love and need were just different ways of the same thing.
So were the words distance and hell. 
 
We swallowed each minute without each other as grains of sand until we were as heavy as the bottom half of an hourglass looking up at the clarity of what once was. 
 
You had given me so many vowels, that by the time you were gone I realized
A, E, I, Owed you everything
 
So when you needed to know my eyes wouldn’t stray I blinded myself to what was your distrust. When I asked your arms to never leave my waist you lost the ability to ever push me away,
as if becoming a part of each other meant that we were twice as strong to resist what was happening.
 
When you called me every morning, your voice on the phone was a wakeup alarm, that love wasn’t as easy as getting to stay in bed all day, and that sometimes, it’s just a prosthetic for loneliness.
 
When everything shattered, the sand of new minutes to paper, trying to scrub away the places of me where you had seeped in. I was left only with the shallow parenthesis of my bones, and the echo of the way you said my name between them. Until that, like all echoes, faded.
 
Last summer, when we kissed, our lips were as tight as high school jeans that couldn’t have fit if we wanted them to.
 
Now, I am with a boy who is much like iron. He fixes old cars, drives them by himself, and stows much quiet between the two chapters of his lips. We meet often, on the corners of dark streets, to film noir kiss and then Casablanca exit.
 
I think sometimes about the limestone streak of alzheimers that runs through three generations of his family, and how one day he will forget all about me.
 
I do not mind.
We will all forget, eventually, the things that never belonged to us.
But so long as our eyes are open, at least we’ll know where we are going.

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“Read This” by Victoria Ford

The Excelano Project Fall 2012 Show: Mother Tongue

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“On Our Map” by Lina Hashem

The Excelano Project Fall 2012 Show: Mother Tongue

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“Quiet People Like Us” by Seth Simons, ft. John Chen

The Excelano Project Fall 2012 Show: Mother Tongue