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The Big Bang By Julia Ain-Krupa Born in the kernel of a shell, she slept in a drawer suspended, carrying

her from East to West. Or maybe the other way around, directions become useless when you are flying through the plains. No, it doesn‘t matter when you are floating. When you are feathered being, and mommy takes your

hand as an indication that if she lets go, you might take flight. When your body is liquid—liquide, it feels more comfortable under water than in the air. Quickly. Szybko. We are learning new ways to speak. And when she said to her mother, I have no home, or, on another

occasion, please take me home, her mother tried to listen but she couldn‘t hear because she, like most, had been raised in one place, had her feet planted on the earth. And wanted to soar. But when you‘re soaring already, you search for a way to plant your

feet. In between homes was language and speech. She looked at her father

across the room, and said, I am in this universe, and you are in another. Words were like storm clouds resting over opposing volcanoes. She would ask him how he was, and he would respond about the weather. Nothing made sense and everything was open. There was a lesson in there, of circus rings and midnight football matches and mother‘s hands as they touched the ivory keys—making music that would tear at the heart, splitting it further and further, until it really was homeless, orphaned, left to carry the torch somewhere in Siberia, or in a yurt along the Mongolian border. That‘s what you do for your family, someone once said. You stay silent, you cross your heart, learn a new religion. There were some lessons that she wanted to erase, but didn‘t know how. Maybe if I learned a new language, she thought, and was careful not to step on a line… And when you don‘t know where you are—when your voice is

unmoored, and you are truly lost, then your voice goes inward. And when it is inward bound, it can only move downward, only be silent, and resound loudly, brutally, honestly, when it falls on the page. I fall on the page. I send my body through the shocks and convulsions

of want and loss and need and regret, and sometimes I see my voice. And always I am surprised that it still makes a sound.

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