A Very Short Book Excerpt

4 October 2018

The Riddle of Longing

When to be an immigrant’s
son is to be a speaker of several

broken tongues, each day
leaves you homesick

for a place you’ve never
touched, nor forgotten, and feel

the ache to know. When there is
no one left, you ask the wind

for directions. Your own
voice returns with a map

of your mother’s palms spoken
into threads of tangled blue

light. Take the long way
home, through the cemetery.

There, kiss your father’s name,
bring back an echo of grief,

and a phlox. When years
later your son finds it crushed

within a book, he will feel
against his face a warm puff

of your living breath, then
a wink of green wings behind

his eyes. Strange, that I am
holding two large rocks,

looking for something else
sacred to smash open.


The Displaced Children of Displaced Children, by Faisal Mohyuddin ’00, Eyewear Publishing, 2018

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