Lost in Translation by Sophia Zhang

Lost in Translation
by Sophia Zhang

I am a daughter of yellow clay. Of white ribs.
Of two worlds cleaved through their middle.
Once, I undressed myself in the mirror
And self-inflicted pressure until maps of
Plum purple and jade green and dried-date red
Covered half my flesh.
How I yearn for the Mandarin that used to float
Out of my mouth, as natural as breathing.
Now, speaking its cemented syllables is like capturing smoke.
Now, I undress myself in the mirror,
And only see half a person.
Somewhere in the muddled transition from East to West,
I’ve lost the flesh and bones of my ancestors, buried
The culture I once knew in an oceanic grave.

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Sophia Zhang is a current highschool junior from the Bay Area. She’s been awarded by Scholastic, Youngarts, and Women on Writing for her work and creative nonfiction. When not writing, you can find her listening to Taylor Swift or chowing down on chips!

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