Now Known

Sometimes it is easier
To exist in the company
Of strangers
Familiarity pains

Familiar faces
Familiar voices
That reset
With every encounter
There is no familiar

There is no peer
Only you
And I
And the hand-drawn
maps we emerged from

Shouting history
Presenting culture
Begging empathy

I've never encountered
A stranger who has studied
The map I present
And said,

"This! I know this!
I now know you.
Breathe easy,
You are now known."

Coaxed me from my diaspora
Den with promise
Of sanctuary
From my fragmented

I am the waterlogged
Matroyshka doll I house
Who is the nesting doll
And who is the dacha?
I don't try to open it anymore
For fear
Of its injury

These situations
Force our hands
Break our spirit

You offer sympathy
You give interest

"Swap your face,"

I want to yell,

"Resemble me,
If you love me!
Please become
the first familiar face
I've ever encountered."

I want only
To be able to say,

"It has happened!
Once! At last.
I am not the only one.
For today, 
In this moment,
It was us."

I wander
Between bodies
Aimless and hungry

Seeking the face
That calls me

Their own


October 19th, 2016