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What a rush it was / to speak empire / at such a young age.

Rehearsal for the New World

Hours before the TV, my mouth
agape, repeating after every American cartoon
endlessly. Call it a meditation;
.
was I not emptying my mind
of language? Mouthing every syllable,
like prayer–God, make me a true
.
American,
i.e. invisible, yet
ever-present.
.
What a rush it was
to speak empire
at such a young age. Later,
.
I am asked: how did you get
this accent? Once, I feared
the other end of that question. Once
.
across the world, I learned
the danger of carrying a country
in your throat, so I did not speak
.
until I made sure
I could not be heard.

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