"if you want to know me" by diana radovan - Second Place
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Published November 3, 2017

Second Place: Calgary Poetry Contest #1

if you want to know me

by diana radovan
(Taufkirchen, Munich, Germany)

if you want to know me

by diana radovan

if you want to know me, don’t ask me where I come from.

don’t ask me whether my home country is nothing but black all over my
body. don’t ask me questions about my body, about the endless scars.

don’t ask me about the nights under a violet fog in which you were facing
the stars looking for complementary orange, and I the cold ground, unable
to face the half-alive half-dead bodies dangling like hammocks underneath
a sky in which nobody wanted to die.

your hope now carries the colors red, white, and blue, but mine is covered
in dust particles and names of people I can no longer meet or trust.
underneath all that, it is still a pure, wild shade of green. the color of hope
should not be split into two.

ask me about my childhood dreams and I will ship them to you, ask me how
many of them came true, please oh please don’t give me labels, or call me
names, don’t split me from you.

and if you would ask me all that, I would tell you that only one dream came
true. and that is more than some people have in one hundred trips around
the sun, moon, and stars.

the sun was yellow, then indigo. we could not tell pirates from mermaids,
riding the waves, faces pressed into one another. even at the shore, the
waves kept moving, slower, faster.

if you want to know me, sit with me inside this human temple I built for you
out of the scar tissue of all our ancestors, passed from generation to
generation into all of me and all of you.

sit with me and tell me stories in rediscovered or invented languages, until
your tears find shelter inside my chest and my right ventricle finds a land of
kisses around your temples.

until our hearts become rainbows that melt into one another as only homes
can do.

Diana Radovan is a multilingual writer who lived in Calgary between 2009
and 2011. She is the founder and workshop leader of the intercultural group
Creative Writing in Munich, a teacher in Sarah Selecky’s Story is a State of
Mind School, and a former scientist with a PhD in chemistry. Her poetry,
fiction, and non-fiction have appeared online and in print in numerous venues
since 2004, in English, German, and Romanian. Her writing has received
numerous awards over the years. Diana has recently co-authored Munich
Stories 2016. Currently, she lives in Germany and also works as a medical
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