Dinner Table Conversation

Dough that will become delicious Mongolian cuisine.

Kamikaze sound sphere

Where “if” and “when”

Are whittled to “when”

Is where I find my

Monaural opera opening

First night.

Double tones of two

At once depart on

Forked road to each

Hemisphere in my mind

Where the right

Serves the left,

Or was it

Left serving… right?

I hear the bounce and timbre,

Fluctuating waves that make

Forks echo in harmony

But only in this land.

In another land,

It is off-key,

But I am tone deaf

So what does it matter?

Singing smoke from

Country homes chokes,

But there is something

So soothing about

Not knowing what it is

You’re supposed to know.

Composed 06/12/2012

Author’s Note: Learning Mongolian was, and still is, a challenge for me. There’s nothing quite as humbling as having the ability to express yourself in a meaningful way taken away from you, and being left to re-learn the world again. Whenever I had dinner with my host family, I struggled to figure out what they were saying, and tried to convey a though– any thought– to them. As you will probably see in the progression of these poems, language, expression, and family meals tended to dominate my thoughts during training.

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