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English Just Doesn’t Cut
By Mark Dimaisip


English just doesn’t cut. The call of the void rings ominous

but only l’appel du vide captures the seduction


of a free fall. Nothing makes a collision between your body

and a barreling bus sound so irresistible like French.


Consider how farsickness reeks of pretension,

devoid of the ache of longing, and the desire for the unknown


that nests in your tongue when you say the German fernweh.

Happiness is the simple cousin of felicidade, lykke and glück.


Beside eudaimonia, merak, and nirvana, epiphany isn’t aspirational.

English just doesn’t roll. Listen to how the Japanese make


the aesthetic of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

taste like a spicy broth that butters down your throat: wabi-sabi.


We can only experience the world with the words that we have.

Only skedonk can turn a lethal car into a killer car.


Gigil is the one valid excuse for biting somebody

else’s baby. Goodbye flits like a feather. Adiós pummels


like a fist. Hello is an obligation to respond. Aloha is an invitation

to live. English just doesn’t grip. It is the kala pani 


of colonized islands. The whitewash to every parampara.

Spicy hijo de puta grinds vanilla son of a bitch into peppermint.


The apple of my eye will always be jealous of mon petit chou.

Bae will never measure up to habeebi! Ay, caramba! 


The fall of the Tower of Babel is God’s true gift to mankind.

Nothing is as profound as yūgen. Nothing is as resilient as sisu.

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