Body, I see you walk away.
Gravel streets recognize
my absence in your soles.
Did you learn a new language or did I
forget the way we talked to each other?
You grew quiet like a vessel, drained.
We cannot emigrate out of skin
that holds us together.
Another language changed us
from the inside. We are
foreigners in our self.
I understand that
our body-guest rearranges our living
arrangement, removes myelin
sheathing you draped
around axons of our brain and spinal cord.
Your reactions—what feel like multiple
tiny legs running on my skin,
electric water pouches under my feet,
crumpled fingers like deformed paper—
We possess a personal painter
who resides throughout our nervous system.
You and I, plus one whose abstract arts—
little white lines, narrow, scattered—
A new language takes time.
Nima Kian lives in Lincoln, NE, where he teaches writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in, Saint Mary's Magazine, Black Lantern Publishing, Mascara Literary Review, Mythic Delirium, Stone Highway Review, Strange Horizons, Blast Furnace, among others.