This poem was written in a bookstore in Amsterdam (I only bought four books in that bookstore, someone give me an award), right after I learned how it felt to pronounce a word I hadn’t used in years.

Words are boulders
Heavy and rough on my tongue
Dislodging from my throat
They break my teeth on the way out

Too many languages
Are fighting through my vocal chords:
My thoughts a constant landslide
Of multicolored pebbles

My fingers move faster with a pen
Than my lips to strangers’ ears

But patiently you wait
For the jumble of sounds to disentangle
As I clumsily articulate
How grateful I am
For you