Land of Lost Syllables


Emily Yoon

Here I divorced my disyllabic Korean name
and my mother became Moon Park. 

The lost ju between Moon and Park hides in the shrubs
of jujubes, conjugation, jury, envies its alien twins

in Julie, Julia, oh Juliet! Sweet geometry 
of my castaway characters, the circle and dashes  

meeting then parting, gave way 
to E-mi-&-ly, the Canadian triplets.

Then there was you. Jungmin-ah
you called out, the ah 

for personal address. Among faces
there was yours. Among things

were our native phonemes,
closer than darling, truer than honey,

infused with the familiarity 
of lullabies with cruel origins. Why

did you leave me, the syllables sing.


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