Ars Poetica
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2021-06-07 04:38 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
Ars Poetica
Janiru Liyanage
after Aria Aber
I broke into english the way a man once broke into my mother.
At the halflight of his bite, pink flesh and all teeth. The way my
mother once broke into the neighbor's dog with her mouth; stole
and ate it raw because she was hungry and needed to survive. None
of it was graceful, and all wild brute. I ruined the wind
shined slick in my windpipe for years before I could use "I" in a poem. Now,
how to stop baying? The strange spill, animal-husk, wound and hook rusting into
my nape. My mother spits blood in her dreams; cannot sleep so she comes to
our rooms instead. Names us, and we remain nameless only in the language
of ash and shadow and amen. In the ESL class, the teacher tells me to run my
tongue across my teeth when saying throat. Push it hard, she says.
So, I scrape it tenderly from my mouth - fold it into
a knife and hold it to my neck. Somedays, I am so ripe with
complete syntax, like smoke arrowed cleanly from a rifle. Others, I find
myself gasping - in the same way when I was five, the day I got a
milk dud lodged in my throat, and because I only knew the Sinhala
word for swallow, I shouted Help, I've gilased it. I've gilased it.
Of course, no one came. They watched the stupid boy, past-tense
a past in the wrong present. My mother calls to tell me how she's
going with her english. Tries to impress me and says, the root of song
is son meaning you are at the root of all my songs, meaning you are my
only song. I tell her she is wrong. I teach her etymology with all the languages
that have no history she can kin. I hang up and do not ask if she needs help with
anything. I am miles away, on a plane and she message me to check her
spelling in a text. Look at this and tell me if it's right: A boy was killed today
by police. They opened him and he was read. He was read all over
the asphalt. Read all over the cold metal. Read all over his mouth,
and read in his broken throat.
I do not reply. When I land, the border patrol agent says
Your english is very good. It's almost like you were born here.
And my body opens; pink glass, cut tongue.
I took the english in, gilased it gilased it,
until it glistened in me, sharp and angular and torn red,
my good brutish blood.
Red in my softest throat.

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