Girl Amputee


My tongue unfurls to unlearn

the language of lying; I realize

that I am never grateful for any

kind of pitying look hurled

like a wet towel in my direction.

I can race, legless and all, straight

to the end of the line. And that is

not only a matter of perspective

from this corner of the room

where the schoolteacher only calls

on me when he knows that I have

the right answer, thinks that he must

not add salt to the stump under my skirt.



- Kristine Ong Muslim