By: Sarah Cai

Twenty six letters,

Every letter unique to itself,

Yet dependent on others to form a word, a phrase.

The alphabet is a palette that can paint worlds

Or destroy them.

We manipulate these letters everyday.

When I was a boy, letters were a puzzle of magic I could solve

To express my love for you, Sycorax.

I pieced together mountains, rivers, fruits, the ocean

All from the island. Our island.

Prospero, dirty Prospero came along like a wild cat 

Knocking my jigsaw off the table as if it were only an empty glass.

The shards of our home were on the floor.

I watched him put the puzzle, our puzzle, back together,

Rearranging the pieces until the edges were sharp enough to kill my magical mother;

He turned my art of our home into the spitting image

Of a dying woman.

The puzzle of our language wasn’t ours anymore. 

You are gone, Sycorax, 

Because of the vandalism of another man,

A man who believes himself to be a god

When he is only the warden of the prison that used to be my home.

“This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother,” I protest.

“Thou most lying slave,” he calls me,

“Hag-seed!” he declares.

“The foul witch Sycorax… This damned witch Sycorax!” He belittles you.

His words are a haunting echo when I sleep in the night.

His words are deformed jigsaw pieces that crawled into the shape of a crown he has made for himself.

His words devour me like a tempest in our sea;

I am just a boat,

And you are already a shipwreck.