Lisa Ha

Lisa Ha is an aspiring creator and storyteller, whether it is knitting grief into poetry, designing personal growth journeys in games or painting hope as monolid eyes and flat noses. She dreams of drawings she later makes and ultimately hopes to help construct a more equitable future through inclusive design.

Muted

A digital art diptych piece of the same short-haired person covering their ears with their hands. Their chest reads "DREAM" and there is a pause and skip buttons below the word. Above this mirrored person, there is a poem that goes together. 
The poem reads:

I would dream
of saying something
wanting the words to tumble out
but they remain locked inside
always reaching
but not making any sound
no words in line of sight

The noise seeps in from around
and I couldn't hear myself
say "wear your mask right"
or "Mẹ, that means they need to take 4 teeth out"
or "why can't you see, the places where
bodies bleed and blood seethes"
I am silenced, muted
the letters stuck in my head
bouncing on the walls
until the walls ache
and I just want to exclaim
"I exist but I don't feel safe
but why does everyone think
that is okay?"

And I regret being young just watching
my mother speaking, for me
the receptionist thinks I'm illiterate
cannot talk English
which is also what my mother wonders
"why can't she talk when she can?"
her plans
of using me as a translator
a navigator, a bridger
over a sea of sunken color
wasn't and isn't as easy
as she perceived

Outside of sleep
my lips are zipped 
and I am afraid that the zipper is stuck
making the coat of my voice closed
my fingers are desperate
so my mouth can move
to share what I know
but I remain breathing
through a KN95 above my nose
letting other people hang their masks low
letting Mẹ translate racism on her own
leaving bodies to bleed, blood to seethe
and then me
muted, video off
no sight or sound
to be seen 
nor heard
awake
nor asleep
A digital art diptych piece of the same short-haired person covering their ears with their hands. Their chest reads "DREAM" and there is a pause and skip buttons below the word. Above this mirrored person, there is a poem that goes together. 
The poem reads:

I would dream
of saying something
wanting the words to tumble out
but they remain locked inside
always reaching
but not making any sound
no words in line of sight

The noise seeps in from around
and I couldn't hear myself
say "wear your mask right"
or "Mẹ, that means they need to take 4 teeth out"
or "why can't you see, the places where
bodies bleed and blood seethes"
I am silenced, muted
the letters stuck in my head
bouncing on the walls
until the walls ache
and I just want to exclaim
"I exist but I don't feel safe
but why does everyone think
that is okay?"

And I regret being young just watching
my mother speaking, for me
the receptionist thinks I'm illiterate
cannot talk English
which is also what my mother wonders
"why can't she talk when she can?"
her plans
of using me as a translator
a navigator, a bridger
over a sea of sunken color
wasn't and isn't as easy
as she perceived

Outside of sleep
my lips are zipped 
and I am afraid that the zipper is stuck
making the coat of my voice closed
my fingers are desperate
so my mouth can move
to share what I know
but I remain breathing
through a KN95 above my nose
letting other people hang their masks low
letting Mẹ translate racism on her own
leaving bodies to bleed, blood to seethe
and then me
muted, video off
no sight or sound
to be seen 
nor heard
awake
nor asleep