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an animated girl created
by a dark-haired, pale-faced genius,
and brought to life with the help of a shoe-selling giant,
gripes in English and explores her home
with soft, French lyrics accompanying her.
i do not lean over to whisper a silly comment in your ear.
i stay silent while she crawls across the screen,
fleeing from the spider-like abstraction that is her other-mother;
while a cat reveals that he can speak, in other-world.
in a book i'm reading, a character frequents movies alone,
but i cannot imagine that. i do not go to movies alone.
i could never sit still in my seat, could never stop myself
from making a snarky comment. except that i do.
with you at my side, i restrain myself, never stray
from the screen, never turn to you to say a single word,
to utter a single noise. silent film. the credits roll and we unravel,
stretching out our tired limbs and standing once again.
i vow to go to one movie alone, someday, to experience the
sound-filled solitude of a youthful comedy or angst-full romance.
when alone, language barriers matter not.
i wonder if you would’ve understood my interruptive jokes,
might’ve laughed at my random thoughts as the movie played,
and the girl escaped button eyes and went home.
we escape into the light, into the real-world.
leaving an other-world of buttons and other-mothers
and possibilities and unshared words.
like the girl, you will be going home soon, never to return,
flying home to your real-mother and real-father and familiar vocabulary.
tomorrow, i will hand you Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.
the pages, which rustle the story of a girl fighting her other-mother,
are littered with English words, whose meanings may be lost on you,
but these are inconsequential.
when i press the paperback into your palm,
what i pray you’ll understand is why.