if this love was a sentence,
he is the comma, she
a period, waiting for it to end.
he is ash, ink, autumn,
frayed and decayed, yet unforgotten
but she is a chalkboard dusty winter
who cannot read ink
so she cannot remember
— Liyana Dizzy, 20
From the future: This was written under duress at my first British Council poetry workshop with Jacob Sam-La Rose. I was obsessed with how my illiterate grandmother’s memory loss caused her perpetual heartbreak. This was also the first poem I ever performed onstage, and it eventually was published in this Readings by Readings anthology, edited by Sharon Bakar and Bernice Chauly.