The Familiar


© 2005, Udaya Narayana Singh
From: Madhyampurush Ekvachan
Publisher: Vani Prakashan, New Delhi, 2005
ISBN: 8181834625

As I read your body
page after page
the plot seems familiar;
as though it’s my own story.

I flip through my own nerves,
entrails, complexion;
and the songs of my depth
dust, spin and fall.

As I read on
I seem to know
every comma, semi-colon,
typo, spelling error –
all those that made
my sentences imperfect –
and even the glossary.

You said
you have no more
faith in words.

You said
you know only
the language of touch –
gentle, sweet, toxic, precarious –
the speech of caress,
but have forgotten
your own tongue
from speaking pidgin for ages,
the changeable grammar
of which shifts with time.

For centuries
I have had a raw feeling
which defies all names;

I shall live with this feeling
till it feels familiar!

9 October, 1994

© Translation: 2006, Udaya Narayana Singh with Rizio Yohannan Raj
From: Second Person Singular
Publisher: Katha, New Delhi, 2006
ISBN: 8189020579


Related Posts

Comments are closed.