Inseparable

 
 

When my Grandma speaks,
she speaks in tongues,
with past, present, and future
braided, inseparable.

She tells me about everything
and nothing much
of moral values
of history and traditions
of herself
of our family
of China
of Vietnam
of the U.S.
of something, and something simultaneously

She repeats everything.
She says it at least three times,
knowing that I will forget if she doesn't.
I'll forget to call her tomorrow morning.
I'll forget about the lunch that she made me that's in the fridge.
I'll forget about her.

When my Grandma speaks,
she speaks in tongues,
of life and death,
and whatever we call what's in-between.

She has a morbid restlessness,
An eagerness to lie down.
This is what she tells me,
after a week of sitting in my Uncle's house
alone,
waiting for someone to call her.
This is what she tells me,
when my parents tell her to stop talking,
because she confuses everything
mixes
forgets
switches
when she tells me she's embarrassed
that others want to know what she knows.

When my Grandma speaks,
she speaks in tongues,
for her, for me, for her children, for her grandchildren, for our children, for our children's children.

She tells me she doesn't want to be a burden,
and I want her to know,
desperately,
that despite half of her calls to me going
unanswered,
that I want to know
everything she wants to say.