You ask me what I mean
By saying I have lost my
I ask you, what would you do
If you had two tongues in your mouth,
And lost the first one, the mother tongue
And could not really know the other, the foreign tongue.
You could not use them together
Even if you thought that way.
And if you lived in a place you had to speak a foreign tongue
Your mother tongue would rot,
Rot and die in your mouth,
Until you had to spit it out.
I thought I spit it out,
But overnight, while I dream,
It grows back, a stump of a shoot
Grows longer, grows strong veins.
It ties the other tongue in knots.
The bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth.
It pushes the other tongue aside.
Every time I think I’ve forgotten,
I think I’ve lost the mother tongue
It blossoms out of my mouth.
— sujata bhatt