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trans-late

by Everett Lane (United States)

February 2023

Write the World Review

Audio: "trans-late," read by Charlie Langford

Any word is un-trans-latable
if you are bad enough
at trans-lating things. For instance:
I am trying to tell you
this skin is not my own
but the words get tangled up
in my throat and spill out as
I am not my own
which is not what I mean. For instance:
I am trying to tell you
wish I were a boy
but you mis-trans-late the words and hear
wish I were less of a girl
which is not what I mean. For instance:
I trans-late myself into ink
as someone you would not recognize.

You are teaching me to drive. The traffic light
spills out wavelengths that my eyes trans-late
into colors and my mind trans-lates into words:
stop and go and wait. You are talking about women and I
am talking about women and
you and I
are not talking about the same thing.
Stop. Wait. I am trying to trans-late myself
into words you will understand but you will not understand.
Anything is un-trans-latable
if you are a bad enough trans-lator.

You tell me, turn left. but not too left.
You tell me, of course I respect them, but-
You tell me, I don't understand why you can't just-

Time is a river, growing greater, and there is no bridge
to span far enough. No trans-lation across its dark
waters. No way of saying both, neither, stop, go, wait.
No way of explaining a cell phone to a caveman,
no way of explaining a rainbow before there was rain,
no way of explaining the universe in binary code.

Anything is un-trans-latable if you are a bad enough trans-lator
and I fear I am the worst of all.



Everett Lane, age 16, is a student poet from California. They enjoy words, sentences, and organizing things in spreadsheets.

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Lauren hudd

2/3/23, 12:21 AM

Reading this story was realistic and relatble

Ellen

2/2/23, 11:27 AM

"I collected little glimpses of the north to hoard away for the future, like treasure" is such a beautiful line!

Ellen

2/2/23, 11:23 AM

What a fascinating piece!

2/2/23, 5:21 AM

One of my favorite pieces ever published on Write the World!

clare

2/2/23, 4:41 AM

Well done Everett on this powerful piece. I hope you continue to write!

Clare

2/2/23, 4:40 AM

Well done Genevieve - what a beautiful and evocative piece of writing!

1/17/23, 2:15 AM

This is so beautiful

Poemsforsleeplesssouls

1/16/23, 3:52 PM

I love all of it. It’s so real and so many feelings are there.

Ande

1/5/23, 6:02 PM

This is amazing. Do not ever stop. That is really inspirational, the whole writing piece made me want to help.

Minaxi

1/3/23, 7:19 PM

This article was absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to live in a country where periods and sex are fairly normalized, but I will never forget to educate myself about the lack of education others have. It pains me to know that in countries like India, girls are still put down about what they where and how they act. It was very brave of you to share your voice, and I commend you endlessly for that.

Brooke

12/8/22, 7:25 PM

I really love this! I, myself, am not black, but I know of a lot of good black people. Sadly, I will admit, at one time, I used to think of a black community filled with gangs and poverty. But I know now how perfectly capable it is to live together if only we got rid of the stereotype that is so, so wrong. I do hope you accomplish this. This will great for our country.

Sorry but can't share the name

12/7/22, 10:40 AM

Basically I don't know how to react.
All the conservatives should be reading this.........

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