/ Solidarity

The auditorium is almost full. Around me, people are speaking with their hands. I sit up straight, alone, cane folded in my lap, smiling like a diplomat. Do these eloquent people know I’m somehow like them?

On my right, a girl with clear eyes signs to her friend. They have a lot to say to each other. I want to look at their hands but it feels like spectating, or eavesdropping. The girl laughs — a sudden ripple of sound — and the friend goes.

The lights dim. The performance begins.

The three poets read with the wind behind them, the hands of their interpreters rising, falling, snapping, pushing.

'You are alive, I whisper to myself, therefore something in you listens.'

Quote is from Ilya Kaminksy's Deaf Republic The other poets were Lisa Kelly and Raymond Antrobus d/Deaf Republic: Poets on d/Deafness @ Southbank Centre
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