This poem was originally written in response to a prompt for a themed literary magazine issue that never ended up running. I’ve always been interested and conflicted with the idea of how language and identity intersect, and what that means for second-generation immigrants who might feel more of a distance between their parents’ languages. This prompt ended up being a good starting block and source of momentum for exploring an idea I didn’t quite know how to approach.


Joyce Chong is a poet and writer living in Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming from One Throne Magazine, Wildness, Hypertrophic Literary, and Spy Kids Review, among others. Her micro-chapbook, “Inventory,” was recently released from Ghost City Press. You can find her at or you can follow her on Twitter at @_joycechong.