Cigan Valentine

Para-

 
Image of a wooded mountain range with gray clouds in the sky and green grass below.

Photo courtesy of author.

Cherokee, NC and Phoenix, AZ

 

As a child, I watched horror movie after horror movie. An attempt to make myself brave or to make others think I was. And now, I fear I’m manipulative because how much can a person really change. Bones and weight and cartilage can only be altered to certain degrees.

When it comes to film, body horror disturbs me the most. Things that happen to a person’s body without their permission. And sometimes they don’t notice until their bodies are so acted upon that they are grotesque, twisted, so completely othered with pain they are no longer sovereign, but colonized by something outside of themselves.

Para-
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Nadryw | Feeling Language

By JONË ZHITIA
Translated from the German by LEANNE LOCKWOOD CVETAN

Piece appears below in English and the original German.

 

Translator’s note:

This essay, presented here in its entirety, won the 2022 Wortmeldung prize awarded by the Crespo Foundation, and, to me, is the thousand words expressed by the picture of the immigrant soul. The submission theme was: “Ships at anchor, cars in parking lots, but I am the one who has no home. How can flight, exile, and homelessness be put into words?”

Nadryw | Feeling Language
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