People have been trying to kill me since I was born, a man tells his son,
trying to explain the wisdom of acquiring a second tongue.
It’s an ancient story from yesterday morning,
called survival strategies and the melancholy of racial assimilation,
called psychological paradigms of displaced persons,
called pain bequeathed to the undefended.
Practice until you feel the language inside you, says the man.
But what does he know about inside and outside?
He, who is so confused about his body and his soul.
What does he know about feeling?
Am I inside you, he asked once into a telephone.
You’re always inside me, a woman answered.
At peace with the body’s finitude,
at peace with the soul’s freedom from space and time.
Am I inside you, he asked once lying between her legs.
Confused about love and hunger.
If you don’t believe you’re inside me, you’re not, she answered.
At peace with the body’s greed, at peace with the heart’s bewilderment.
It’s an ancient story from yesterday evening
called patterns of love and peoples of Diaspora,
called loss of the home place and the defilement of the beloved,
called I want to sing but don’t know any songs.