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Denise Kolanovic


I came to this place, my new world,
filled with unfamiliar faces and voices
that speak words I cannot understand.
The aromas of foods are foreign
to my taste and it takes me forever
to enjoy the diversity of food.

In my homeland, the flavors of food
were so rich and pure from my old world
where things remained the same forever
and all my family and friends' voices
were constant and close, not foreign
or distant. Can you understand

how I feel?   Day in, day out, I try to understand
the language and eat the strange food
and stare at the happy people who ignore my foreign
accent and laugh lightly in their snug world,
sharing information with confident voices
that are strident and strong talking forever.

I feel lost in translation, forever
fighting to grasp meanings and understand
facial expressions and idioms from their voices.
TV commercials sell diets and food
while starvation permeates the world
in places remote and foreign.

Sometimes I long for the shores of my foreign
land, or to gaze upon the sea and sky forever.
But it's as if I were an alien, from a world
that does not really care or understand
my point of view. It is food
for thought: as I study their voices

and their language; I merge with their voices
and domesticate myself in this cache of foreign
people who buy but do not prepare their food,
but rush around searching forever
for a lifestyle that they understand
that guarantees their pursuit of happiness in their world.

And yet, I still wander in this place forever
trying  diligently to understand
why I came, but afraid to leave this new world.


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