‘?’, the first letter rolls in my mouth, my pallet expanding to it’s limit for the wingspan of my tongue to bend and reach the tips of my gums in order to produce the new letter. A bit of practice, my lips bend, ripple, loosen, tense, twist, open, and under fold-I begin to speak the Korean language. A bittersweet taste of chocolate raspberries as well as the pang of sour pickled Kimchi fills the tastes of my saliva as my mouth speaks the language. The pictures on coloring books and wild flower paintings as well as emotional dramatic actors fill my head as it works to say the words in correct grammar. When I see you speak, your mind thinks halfway across the world, you’re lips anticipating but keep the same pace as you tell me the new news carefully. Unlike me, you do not allow your teeth and lips to bend and twist together on their free will, which creates endless, breathless rolls and rolls of letters. One word, one thing, one person, one precious soul, one god. The technique to emphasize each word in regular speech, small innocent flames, grows and tears up anything in your way. Poise and care dance in buoyancy over the velocity of a common few words in everyday speech. You speak and not only am I moved easily, but a dance of such grace and beauty flames threw the small ripples of your lips. I don’t only laugh or cry because of what you say, I see the face of someone I loved, had passed away. Smiling at me every time you say my name, those lips-those petals of flame.

Phenix Kim
Age 13, Grade 8
Lycée Français de New York
Gold Key

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