Photo by Dan Ruhrmanty Copyright 2008

Fear of Foreign Languages

The background’s Brighton Beach. Acrylic, yes
but her Cyrillic written here is thick
as paint already. This new house—gauze house
of family faintly sketched, smudged pencil, chalk,
ghost house—around the figure is not quite
translucent. Young, the figure sits as though
behind tight curtains. Young, the figure paints
new letters on white walls. The background’s cold
and iron hard. The figure, from a book,
is kneeling, gripped by pages, ciphers strange
and riveting. Outside, blank walls. Brown brick.
The unfamiliar signs that seem to change
like hours. The figure of her speech is bright:
gray sea, white house, red slash that is her heart.

by Jessica Piazza

Jessica Piazza is Founding Editor of Bat City Review and Co-Founder of the Speakeasy Poetry Series in New York City.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.  You can find her most recent poems in 42 Opus, Pebble Lake Review, Coconut, Anti- and No Tell Motel.

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