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.