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Since I learned this second tongue,

my voice is split in two:


one that echoes

my grandmother’s proverbs,


another that mimics

things strangers say.


Since I learned to write this second tongue,

the spelling of my name has shrunk:


from four letters found in دعاء

to three in this second tongue;


difficult sounds replaced

with easier ones.


You could say my name has lost

some of its character


and ‘Dua’ has become one half

of this strange duality.

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