Sign Language

By Asha Dore

September 15, 2014

Sign Language

The motion of the body. Exchange of truths. Listening without the ears. Telling without the mouth. My daughter points to her chin and signs, my favorite then points to a moth that bumbles through the air on the other side of the sliding glass door. When the moth lands on the door, she moves toward it. She presses her hand on its glass. Wing against wing. The words she will fling through the twitch of her knuckles, the clasp of her palms, the flap of her wrists. Years and years of words, of stories that reach past hearing, past telling. Stories that reach into the skin.

While other babies say bababa lalala more more more, she turns toward the space words can never enter: a life inside of a body and a body inside of a life. Not a howl. Not a moan. Not even a song.

Cool glass against her fingertips, she turns to look at me. Outside, the moth opens and closes its wings. She mimics this motion with her hands - the sign for book. She presses her face hard on the glass like she could swim through the clear membrane, through all the spaces and lines that divide bodies, all bodies, our stories, our invisible differences.

Outside the glass, the moth flutters, waiting for her to move through the glass, to lift her wrists so it can land, safe in the stories of her hands.

 

Photo "Pearly Wood Nymph Moth - Eudryas unio" provided by Richard Crook, via Flickr creative commons license.

Comments (8) - Post a Comment
Asha, I was happy to see your name here. I remember your beautiful poetic writing from our LitReactor class earlier this year. This is a gorgeous piece. Love this: "stories that reach past hearing, past telling..."
Linda Dunlavy at 10:53am EDT - September 15, 2014
Metamorphosis of butterfly wings and book pages, non verbal and verbal communication is beautifully portrayed in this piece. Thank you.
rlgonzalezdelvalle at 10:57am EDT - September 15, 2014
This essay enacts the moment and all of its resonant possibilities for the now and forever from this mother's perspective. I love it.
jmunro at 11:10am EDT - September 15, 2014
Beautiful.Deeply felt.
Marilyn Bousquin at 11:21am EDT - September 15, 2014
Exquisite, Asha. Pure poetry. Beautiful thing, indeed.
Theresa Hamman at 1:29pm EDT - September 15, 2014
Brilliant. Heart-stopping. Thank you.
Elizabeth Gaucher at 6:01pm EDT - September 15, 2014
Such a subtle, beautiful, & lyrical piece, Asha. Looking forward to meeting you in October!
Justin Hocking at 11:10pm EDT - September 19, 2014
Asha, there are no words that can describe how proud I am of you. Your writing is beautifully written and speaks to my heart. Thank You!
steve bader at 8:34pm EDT - September 23, 2014


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