The languages buried deep in my tongue do not know
the taste of home, has tried to replicate tahanan
in English, auf Deutsch, bil Araby, en Français.
Gingembre in every city has helped me swallow
enough keys to doors my belly has learned to make room for.
I have been travelling since I was seven. I sniff for directions
nach Zuhause. I learned yasmeen is sampaguita,
but only one of them is steeped in hot water, the other,
bought from tiny hands and hung on rearview mirrors.
Four thousand miles whence, my hands have tried to build a house
on sand where my toes recognize the feeling of bayti.
I distract myself with growing. In every garden, luya, ginger,
Ingwer, zanjibil, the rough and spice of it, the root
abundant and everywhere. I trust the magic of the earth
will bloom flowers: common or precious or je ne sais quoi.
Above me, the birds in flight are singing a different song while
I have memorized the lyrics for this constant plucking and uprooting.
I am honeyed throat and ambered lip, I am sweet enough for birdsong.
But I will tell you plainly, I am tired. I am lost. Please help me
make sense of this — the salt of my skin longing for origin,
hopes for clouds, for less horizon, less gravity, else feathers.
Dear birds, tell me, what to do when the ocean cuts itself in half
again, the seabed trail beckoning me to walk between
saltwater walls. Dear birds, I envy the knowledge
your wings bear, knowing how to leave,
when to come back and where.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones