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I still breathe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I would read and sometimes forget to eat

My mother was always worried.
She believed some day I would forget
to breathe
and turn into scattered letters and commas
among the pages of a book

She feared she would never be able to put me back together.

I bite my knuckles, wanting to see the red teethmarks
I've pronounced them my own totem
to reality

My parents would always spill words on
top of each other
and afterwards wonder why they were never able to understand
what the other one meant

(I think that's why I've always wanted
to learn more languages)

Their 20 years of marriage is a never-ending quarrel
their tongues never got tired of
Growing up, I refused to become an
argument
either of them could use as a shield
against the other

I wandered among the flowers in gardens,
the constellations in the sky, the scenes
in movies
searching for hidden pieces of myself

In the process, I managed to lose more
of myself
than I ever found,
but my mother should not be worried.
I still breathe.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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