If I had to look up every fifth or sixth word,

so what. I looked them up.

I had nowhere important to be.

My father was unavailable, and my mother

looked like she was about to break,

and not into blossom, every time I spoke.

My favorite was the Iliad. True,

I had trouble pronouncing the names,

but when was I going to pronounce them, and

to whom?

My stepfather maybe?

Number one, he could barely speak English;

two, he had sufficient intent

to smirk or knock me down

without any prompting from me.

Loneliness, boredom and terror

my motivation

fiercely fuelled.

I get down on my knees and thank God for them.

Du Fu, the Psalms, Whitman, Rilke.

Life has taught me

to understand books. here