Sylvia Munoz

I speak two languages:
my father’s depression
my mother’s mania.

I understand every
single one of his tears.
I understand why her hands
make more sentences than her mouth.

I want to learn
a new language.
Let it be covered in accents,
Let the accents be band aids
over the words I’ve already
spoken and cannot mend.

Then I’ll be able to use my voice
to build rather than break.
Then I’ll be able to keep myself
form hurting you. Ask you to
stop hurting me.

You said I’ve been eavesdropping on
my parents for too long. Now the
only things I know how to say are


We weren’t raised
speaking the same. I knew
we wouldn’t be able to have
a proper conversation.

I tried anyway, but
everything has been said
and the only two words
we are both able to translate are:



These words only make sense
to each of us when they are
spoken side by side, make one word.
I will learn a new language.
It’ll just be one you don’t speak.

Read more from Sylvia Munoz: Making scars, Lit, Taking the lead