Back to Issue Forty-Two




My grandfather had forgotten

my name before he ever knew it

Little one.

When he was my age,

he saw the white people from his town

drag his own father by the neck—

there are no words for this.

The woman in speech therapy

pushes a set of watercolors towards me

and tells me to say it that way,

I would never lose my stutter.

Some neuroscientists think of language

As a living thing. How many little deaths

Are you willing to suffer?

How well habituated are you to the lexicon

of loss? To the Greeks “a-” meant to

be without. How do you say? I am lost without you.

A few days ago, the last speaker

of an indigenous dialect died. How do you say?

Without you I am Nothing.


Natalie Jarrett is an undergraduate writer originally from the Bay Area, California. She is a rising senior at Northwestern University studying English (creative writing emphasis) and the Cognitive Sciences. Through her studies, she is able to explore language both as a creative medium and as a cognitive function. Her interests include jazz electronica, writing for AI, weightlifting, and dried fruit.

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