September 13, 2011

from FOR MY FAMILY, a zine about coming out as Armenian and queer

by Lara Maldjian

I do not see my language in letters.
Though it was my first,
my first thought
my first word
my first laugh
I never learned to write it down
it’s a love story that has never
corresponded with paper
until now.
When I speak,
the words come out letterless
but never shapeless.
I see
The curve of a hip
My mother’s hairclip
My sister’s lipstick
My grandmother’s hands
My father’s bright smile.

I was taught
to read
I imagine brown limbs,
my legs wrapped around a pair of thighs that
understand my own,
know the history of my hips, speak the
language of my lips.
I imagine brown eyes,
With matted lashes,
Mouth thick, voice thick, hair thick,
Making art on pillow cases,
Building nests,
I imagine our hearts tugging,
Our voices sharing space,
Making the same sounds
our fingers spelling the same words.
Imagine a hand,
large and strong at the base of my neck,
keeping me there,
and for one minute
I do not struggle.

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