Body Language

Weighs heavy like a borrowed coat
Each well-meaning Your English is Very Good
I have seen and felt and dreamt in it always
I have healed the holes in my soul with it always
It is skin, not clothing
It is mine to own, not another’s to loan
That morning I was wandering, wondering in English
But she saw my hair, skin, and eyes, and said nihao
That afternoon I was silent, alone for a Wilde
But he saw my hair, skin, and eyes, and bowed
Your English is very good
Yes, and so is yours

Allison Thung is a writer from Singapore. She started telling stories at 6, and just never stopped. Some of her work can be found at

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