Mulligatawny Dreams

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anaconda. candy. cash. catamaran.
cheroot. coolie. corundum. curry.
ginger. mango. mulligatawny.
patchouli. poppadom. rice.
tatty. teak. vetiver.

i dream of an english
full of the words of my language.

an english in small letters
an english that shall tire a white man’s tongue
an english where small children practice with smooth round
pebbles in their mouth to the spell the right zha
an english where a pregnant woman is simply stomach-child-lady
an english where the magic of black eyes and brown bodies
replaces the glamour of eyes in dishwater blue shades and
the airbrush romance of pink white cherry blossom skins
an english where love means only the strange frenzy between a
man and his beloved, not between him and his car
an english without the privacy of its many rooms
an english with suffixes for respect
an english with more than thirty six words to call the sea
an english that doesn’t belittle brown or black men and women
an english of tasting with five fingers
an english of talking love with eyes alone

and i dream of an english

where men
of that spiky, crunchy tongue
buy flower-garlands of jasmine
to take home to their coy wives
for the silent demand of a night of wordless whispered love . . .

A Sparrow Rubbed by a Flute
Soheil Najm

Miloš Djurdjević

About the Author

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, essayist and fiction writer from India. She debuted with the poetry collection Touch (2006), and has since published in The Little Magazine, the Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore, and elsewhere. A former editor of The Dalit that reflects the voice of India’s ex-untouchables, she has also translated the writings of the Tamil Eelam leaders. In 2007 she was selected for 21 under 40: New Fiction for a New Generation, the Zubaan Anthology of Young Women Writing in South Asia. Her collection of short-stories Black Magic will be published later this year. She is a contributing editor to Muse India and writes for the feminist blog Ultra Violet. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange at the US Department of State. In September, 2009, he was a featured poet in the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s Jazz Poetry concert. Read more about Meena on her blog.

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