ONE MORE TIME

Originally published in Hungry Translations, 2019

One more time

you ask me to tell you

another one of those stories

piercing eyes   on fire

chase the dark

        turmeric saris bleed

large callused hands

        pound against eardrums

umbilical cords entwine

        bamboo pens

stab guts          unverified

ancestors

out of time

turn away words

poison dictionaries footnotes glossaries

without permission

a million needles sigh 

        wounds desires destinies

received out of line

snatched blessings

        girls don’t inherit

and you ask me one more time

to tell you a story oozing secrets—

sun soaked green mangoes in heeng kalaunji

young feet salted in ocean’s chest don’t return to shore 

bonded server parent unbound

—not so you may heave a sob hounded 

nor honor it by

communing with the

haunted        haunting—

collisions

but to frame 

another Intervention

pronounce meaning

        accentless 

strip flesh    muscle   sensation

        plastic petals

        incapable of twisting

        exploring, moving, collaborating

lips don’t come together

to echo

sounds rebound unregistered.

 

 

 

but Tongues,

lips,

throats,

guts

            stripped of sensations

will beat stories flat

like a drenched old rag

beaten repeatedly with a heavy washing bat

on stone by a

body squatting 

bent over it      beating 

            breathing 

                                    beating

surrounded by a mountain

        bedsheets, bras, salwaars, shirts, skirts, saris,

 rags, pants, petticoats, underwear, and heavy blue jeans

                                        blood-stained and

waiting to be washed before the

trickle in the tap disappears, before the

legs become overwhelmed by that full

heavy feeling making it

        impossible to stand

on your feet after you are

        done

washing that mountain.

 

If my metaphors do not

make sense it’s

because

your body does not know

what I know

from learning what it is like

to beat clothes

on stones under trickles of water for

years       decades

        generations

yet you demand another story

as if my tongue was not my own hot

        flesh

you retell

without shiver or stammer without

feeling in a piece of your bones

for a second my

wounded everyday sort         of

        joy,    pain,                  of

that overwhelming fullness

that piercing, deadening Heaviness

in my thighs

moving upwards and spreading in to

arms shoulders

up my neck

connects with veins

of my Soul.

      you will never 

realize, you cannot 

know:

in your eagerness to retell another 

one of these

stories you’ve gone

without learning

how to squat

for hours

washing

        breathing

        beating

cloth after cloth

on the stone

before that trickle vanishes.

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