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Unlearning of Years

Poetry & Prose | December 7, 2015

My birth changed

my mothers        constitution, tinted

her hues as stains. Garbled

her language to nuisance,

the sound

as paper tearing      between gears.

 

For the first years it was her

face my demons brought

forth to me,

the colony          calling her

stranger

myself turning with it

 

till even my own name jumped

like uncooked rice in my mouth, teeth aching

to parse              syllables

 

*

 

A dhaga blooms

from my forehead, I forget

it’s there sometimes.

 

In crowds, its silent pulling

from my belly     guides

my eyes to women that look

like my mother.

 

I search

their faces, waiting

to see the eyes that I keep

closed    peering back at me.

 

 

I hear them say my name correctly. A sound like watching your lover enter a house from a distance, their familiar stride yet             unknowing of you, primordial

 

I’ll plant myself like tulsi at the center of that house, Vishnu in her most patient form.