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My tongue is an archipelago by Sufia Khatoon

Art by Sufia Khatoon

My tongue is an archipelago

My tongue is an archipelago

where a child makes

a kite with grass blades, flies it in the

grueling heat in my mouth and

eats the sun each winter.

If you feel my pulse

and touch the dried salty skin

where the wormholes have emerged –

you can teleport through them to

the moon of turquoise ink

pouring out epiphanies.

I can taste the soaring

bitter-sweet sea in my throat

swelling with pride ,having wrecked

the roots of a man who had turned

into a tree and found the cure for disappointments.

Past the smell of falling snow, crackling embers

and dense moist foliage

you can find a heart –

aloof, alienated, unaccustomed to the ways

and hasn’t loved at all.

I lay down my fishing line to catch a star or two

and cook them for a decent meal –

it might fill the void in my stomach at last.

The idea of existing alone makes things relentless

and bitter, the feeling of being held

fading as the sound of the willows

melt in the storm.

Receiver of The Kavi Salam Award 2018, Receiver of The Kavi Salam Award 2018, Sufia Khatoon is a multi-lingual performance poet, artist, literary translator and facilitator. She is the Co-Founder of Rhythm Divine Poets community Kolkata and the Editor of EKL Review. She has authored “Death in the Holy Month” and her second book of poetry is forthcoming from The Red River publication.


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