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I never quite learned how to speak.

The words were there, hundreds of thousands of choices,

but no matter how I tried,

they never came out quite right when I tried to say them.

I tried a different language,

then another,

and another,

and one more still,

but it never worked.

The words always came out all wrong,




just as I was.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t speak,

and even when I finally could form the words with my mouth,

they always came out emotionless,




I had memorized a hundred thousand words,

yet could not understand them,

not until I picked up the broken fountain pen

sitting on my father’s desk, ink almost entirely gone.

Twisting the capsule, changing the cartridge,

the first smears of ink on my hands.

Opening the dainty little notebook,

and with handwriting that wasn’t quite perfect,

printing that first beautiful word:


Because it’s the only way I know how to speak,

the only way for me to cry out, to be heard.

I write, because I must,

because even if I am utterly incomprehensible,

at least my beautiful paper children can be understood.

I'm an 18 y/o student from LA and alleged physics enthusiast.

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Published in issue 5


Published in issue 5


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