truth is i was always afraid. you took me
to the sea and never let me wander
from the shore, you brought me to this country
and said it's safe here, i promise. stay.
i tried to grow roots. truly. and stems
and petals and pollen, stigma, style —
a yellow heart blooming at the back
of my throat, an open mouth, your tongue
pebbles, gravel, stone : holding neither
water nor light or home. often i would
stumble and, falling, swallow it
whole: river, riverbed, the estuary
of wanting to belong.