Illustration by Anya Baker.


I am from my grandfather’s wilting wallpaper,
Our outlawed crayons versus his naked plaster.
I am from summer apples and autumn figs,
From mulberry stained chins and elbows.
I am from power outrages,
the candles and titters that followed.
I am from perspiring nannies unnumbered,
spilling past our gates, forlorn and galloping away
from me, their private hell, 3 foot 1 in a sundress.
I am from hot blood and canned apologies.
I’m from a rusty oil pump, bruised knees, the fox that
drowned in our pool and was buried next to it.
I am from fish fat and thunderous clocks,
from my mother’s age-old dishes and my fathers
unbecoming sweats.
My walls are bare but I am fluent in half-truths,
And my kaleidoscope is where I left it,
sticky with peach juice.

By Maryam Azizli