From the time I moved out of you,
I slithered like a snail,
with sharp shards of its broken shell
stuck to its slimy body.
An unfeeling trail left behind.
Millions of the world’s hotels – made of ice, ivory, stone, salt –
awash in unknown languages, faces, customs, seas –
would hide me, would open their doors.
I would return to where, twenty years ago, I mangled a dead jellyfish –
a transparent cloud the color of water.
At a time when I didn’t have to wear my bathing suit top.
My fingers poked its formless body.
This would be called “starting over”,
molding yourself from the very first words,
from the tips of your toes.
Where my heart once was – a sharp shard of glass,
In time it will grow over with petals of woven muscle
with each heartbeat it won’t sting so much
it will remind me less of fault, provenance, native language.
Translated by Ada Valaitis