Out of the letter that shakes in my hands
like a vulnerable leaf in a nuclear wind.
Out of my mother’s arms and the words,
“I still love you.” Out of strangers’ stares
that crawl over my new skin. Out of fear
of loneliness in a new world.
The cry I bring down
from the boy
belongs to the woman I’ve become.
I am my mother’s daughter, though I still hear
my dead name. She still tries to sound out
the one I chose.