“Sunset Sky.” John Frederick Kensett (American, 1816-1872); oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I cough the sun out of its sky. Letters of the alphabet hurt toward the end. Can we go on without
pronouns? There are at least five ways to say aunt which depend on age. I tear a page out of the
phonebook & place it on my chest. Wind moves through a place other than trees. When we want to
learn a language, what we find to say first indicates where our urgencies lie. There is a difference
between how lovers speak & how I would tell my mother I love her. You get the accent right
because you sing.

Stacey Tran is a writer from Portland, OR. She curates Tender Table and her writing can be found in diaCRITICS, The Fanzine, Gramma, and The Volta. Her first chapbook is Fake Haiku and her first full-length book, Soap for the Dogs, is forthcoming next spring.