BY NATALIE JARRETT
My grandfather had forgotten
my name before he ever knew it
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.