Maybe Aphasia

Aphasia is a voice disorder resulting from damage to the brain. This damage can be caused by sudden injury or develop slowly. Aphasia is one type of many communication disorders.

Wake up without words

Grasping at air like a child begging for attention

A bit of warm water and honey

Can’t save your voice


Months of visits to airtight coffins with icebox walls

And wintery hands against your throat

Told you to speak and heard only the sounds of a Galton’s whistle

Silence. No diagnosis


I speak for you now

That I know what permanence means

What if I end up like her

Your lips, two camellia petals brushing against each other

Pushing out prayers

Everything will be okay

The first lie I ever spoke


Years from now, someone will ask

About you, who you were

What I loved

I will say, I loved everything

But your voice.


Dakota Delk

Dakota Delk is a Secondary English Education major at Cumberland University and a past editor of Novus. Her writing typically focuses on her personal experience with physical and mental health, family, and relationships. When she is not in a classroom, she can be found working in her university's writing center, reading, watching Netflix, or taking a nap.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN