Shastra Deo: “Genesis”
I do not know how to translate
myself: text of twinned provenance,
ary homeland. Foreign diviner of orphic
I am colonisers’ reluctant philologist, roiling
patois, mouth curled muscular
over ouroboran viperslangs:
mother’s tongue split and blooming
apples on breath alone. My English
is a language of kenning, antigarden
of my speech, plot for
both Latin and Saxon
and what cuttings I take:
manus, hand, हाथ;
dens, tooth, दांत.
What music sidles — nostalgia of sound.
Many myths do not outlive their nativity,
but this — the snake, the tongue
against apple in hand, then hit by tooth
— eats through exile, enacts its
violence in utter-
rances settled, knowledge unsought, sins
neither committed nor remembered.