Broken English

I met a woman fresh off
the boat, a fugitive back
home;
political outcast who’d
hoped to outlast
her kings
and foreign drones;

a stowaway, she
gestured, as shipmates
second
guessed her
motivations, and the
starboard corners she
wrestled herself
to sleep
were pounded by
the tide.

She is only
nineteen, she told me,
and her father had too
much pride.

How she could stretch only handfuls of vocabulary over millions of meanings rendered her speech obscene so she spoke with her eyes instead; of being a second-rate citizen dragged down by spiritual debt.

And so
I said,

“People you’ve met
are nothing like the
people you’ll meet
here;

we’re all
good in essence but
somehow our
altruism’s
disappeared.

Good luck,
godspeed,
may you find your
land of
the free,

my dear.”

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