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Sucheta Mishra


The language in which you address me
is not yours,
the language in which I respond you
is not mine.

We have sold
our ornaments, tongue, winter-clothes
and the wish to offer gifts;
we have lost
our palms.

Only the language knows—
why we are getting split
within ourselves,
why we ask the mason
to construct a wall
in the middle of the house.

When you extend your hands
you touch my dress.
Extending my hand
I feel you are only another dress.
Eager to store scores
like unwritten letters—
our existence.

Only the language knows
why do our footprints turn back,
betrayed and frightened,
from the road we travelled by together.

Blowing off dust from all faces
peeling the plasters
off all the houses,
I search,
unhindered like a river,
free of grammar.

Like roots medicinal,
like pollen life-giving,
like our burn-mark—
that language.

Don't tell me,
that language is now displayed
in some exhibition.

Translated by Rabindra K Swain


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