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.