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Telephone wires -- poetry by Nina Anin

The maps in the gallery are a mangled mess of roots:

The east dragon and the west dragon can't seem to work out

where their tails should fall,

Monkey King is journeying to the north instead of the west

they could close their eyes and trace with nails the zebra crossings in the ocean

I struggle to find my way around old land,

incapable of asking for directions in the right language

The translator doesn't work. It says my great grandfather was a pirate,

when he was a swordsman/doctor who carried lion heads across the continent

just so the new infants can find some piece of their ghosts, one day, maybe

The swaying telephone wires are as lost as I am,

with telegraphs tossed against the windows of the wrong lands

One day, will the ghosts of the shipwrecks at the museum take me

where the telephone wires go?

Meanwhile, I will clutch the ends of the rotary phone, circling and praying,

like they had once done to say, the bombs are falling and we can't go back,

listening to the uncertain lullabies rushing across before it's too late

to write down the nautical sagas of the lion heads and their last storerooms


Nina is a writer from Asia, where she will be graduating secondary school in 2022. She enjoys writing, reading, and research in her free time.

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