I hear them imitate the dogs
And they just make this sound
Like a Mohican warrior,
Or someone learning their vowels
For the first time and are
Astonished at what magic
Can come from their throat.
I hear them saying yes and no
Without saying yes and no,
A viper’s breath without the venom,
Lips that are numb to movement
Concealing a tongue that,
When called upon,
Fattens and flattens like a tire
That can’t decide its state of repair.
I hear them walking in and out
Of the doors that shut but don’t seal,
Creaks aren’t quite what are produced
Underfoot in this wooden house,
But something more akin to
A ripple across under the surface
Of a lake only divers can hear.
I hear them making busy sounds
When they are taking care
Of what they feel they must do
To survive in increasingly harsh
Environments that engulf
Their tiny home that holds
Much more than I can hear.
Author’s Note: Nothing is more frustrating, curious, maddening, bewildering, or bewitching as listening to a language so far removed from the languages you grew up hearing. Especially when you have no clue what they are saying after trying to hard to understand.