When my family stood to leave
the warmth of my grandmothers home
after our weekly visit,
I crammed myself into a corner,
the long plane of my back pressing
intently against the cold wall.
Around me, my family said their goodbyes,
arms snaking around shoulders,
kisses pressed against the crevices
of dimples and foreheads, hands
shaking, patting, rubbing farewells
into ever exposed inch of being.
I cringed, I
who doesn't like to be touched,
tracking each finger as it buried
past the soft dough of the skin,
where the pure language remains
It's the language we spoke before words
etched in the twitching of muscles
or the pounding of a pulse, a living brail
to which I refused to submit
Why do I shy away?
Perhaps its a sense of otherness,
the low whining fear that rises
when you walk into a room
of strangers. I know
but do not know my family.
I have never felt
unwelcome by them.
Yet to see them all together
sharing so easily
what only families can share
instinctively love a comforting hum
like hearing your language
in a foreign land, a sweet connection
which makes my heckles rise
the low voice droning in my head
you dont belong here,
you never will.