Christina Yoseph


when i was born my parents
couldn’t agree on a name for me
so i ended up with two sets
instead of one 

in one i am understood to be
the land between two rivers

by a current diligently working
to digest and expel my foreign

in one i am

at the river’s edge stealing
for myself samples
of earth selling myself
half-truths: unintentional
parting gifts of
the land’s periphery

in the other i am
understood to be a facsimile

of a fish
out of water—

i keep the names like
secrets under my

tongue a shelter
determined to hide them to
bend itself
until breaking

in a dream i recognize no knife
is too dull

to halve a sack of flesh a
collection of muscle and nerves with
no bone to adhere to 

in a dream a
cutting board:

a phantom hand

a fish thrashing
against dry land

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