What can I tell you about this body but that it is mine?
Not my mother’s though she tried harder than any to mold
its soft form. Not my father’s though I carry his color.
Often I wish I were an already discovered fact.
My body and its histories known like the mapped,
the chronicled, the clichéd phrase at home in every mouth.
I wish to give you my shovel, my miner’s helmet, lamp affixed.
Will you take these words – every word – until all I have
are ten fingers to trace my lines at this exact moment?
So that for once I will have a whole being beneath my hands—
all that will ever be and never be again.
Hali F. Sofala-Jones is a Samoan American teacher and writer from Georgia. She’s earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. You can find her most recent work in Nimrod International Journal, The Bitter Oleander, Blue Mesa Review, and The Missouri Review online. Outside of teaching and writing, she enjoys introducing the world to her toddler, playing Assassin’s Creed video games, and cooking for friends and family.