Letter to Past Self

the tongue is wrapped in gold we
shed a little every time we speak.
trust me, these words are not trapped
in the heart, they flow through

the hands the bones the mouth. do not hide
in your mother’s shadow, wear it with pride,
you are more than a vessel of her words.
look, an entire dynasty within you: a dynasty

of fisherman sailing through your veins, of farmers
sprouting life through your skin, of poets painting
inside your lungs a night sky. reach for the field
of wilding words and beating earth inside.

trust me, one day these will all be yours to keep.
words strong enough to tear through the lines,
and burst into a flurry of stardust, enough
to shade the sky a new color. the tongue

is a start and an end, the inexorable period
and the space of possibilities that comes after.
do not be afraid when you dig up this river
inside of you. build a boat out of this tongue

and drink the sea of stars dry until they’re shining
through every single inch of your skin.

Spencer Chang is a writer from Taipei, Taiwan. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, Rabbit, Blue Marble Review, The Daphne Review, and elsewhere.

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