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Ars Poetica

时间:2021-06-15|栏目:英语诗歌|点击:

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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