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Dear --


In the time of the quiet men I

listen to the sounds of the distant wails.

Howls, whimpers, disintegrating

tears softening the edges of the mountainous

foils, slowly– decaying in the hands which wearily caressed

their hills. Used, distressed, damaged.

In those nights embracing my own stomach, I give

my grandmother’s womb the tenderest of kisses, the

tenderest of songs which she never let herself to own.

I sing to her of her real name which her mother, and her

mother before gave in memory of the

swallows that grazed the Tengri sky, giving passage to the

sun-kissed Umai. Soothing– the blissful cries of those who came before the

wrenched out tulips.

I quietly hum to my grandmother’s womb that I too hear

the girl knocking, thumping, pleading

to see her memory.

Sometimes I wish that I can even call it a memory,

not a distant pain that I feel in the presence of the familiar sunken face. The

withdrawn eyes in the secluded center of the mindless glees of her own frail tulips.

I wish I could tell her that her memory, her womb is safe with me–

caressed with lullabies that she never let herself to hear .

I wish I could tell her that in the time of the quiet men and the distant wails I

could hold her tight and call her by her real name.


Editors: Danielle C., Cathay L., Joyce P., Claudia S., Erika Y.

Image source: Unsplash


Tengri: Also known as Kök Tengri (Blue Sky), Tengri is a titular sky deity of Tengrism personifying the universe.

Umai: Also noted as Umay, is a deity/Goddess of fertility and afterbirth. She is often represented with the color yellow or that of the sun-kissed beauty.


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