INKPOT - Poetry by Nitoo Das

Seven, eight-bodied
(Written for the idiom: “ga xatkhon-aathkhon”)

My language (the language
I refuse to speak) knows well
how to be happy.

My language (the language
my ma writes in) multiplies
bodies into numbers. Seven, eight,
nine, ten. They burst
and repeat themselves
in vast laughter.

My language (the language
I have forgotten) fragments
faces into grins. It shows teeth. Bodies
shout, shriek, skip and turn
into mirrored crows’ feet of glee.

My language (the language
I mime when in pain) doubles you over.
It makes you clutch stomachs, seven
or eight stomachs in tears of delight.
It throws back heads, strains throats.
Yes, seven or eight throats.

My language (the language
I visit only in poems) pleases enough
to slam shut eyes. Shakes bodies
like aging leaves and
infects everything around it.

The voiceless velar fricative

I am the x in oxomiya,
xenduriya xondhiya,
xonjiboni. Very few can
voice me.

Stamped different, marked
minority, marked unspeakable,
I survive in small pockets
of the world.

An airiness invades
me like an unknown quality.
I am a secret
between lovers. I am an articulated silence

shaky with lust. I am singularity
of sound. I am a nation’s
difficult past. I am bound
and sung by rules of the tongue.

1 comment:

  1. I just loved both the poems!"I am the X in oxomiya....." Wonderful! Reminiscent of my own corroding tongue.