my mother thinks i dream in bengali
that my dreamscapes, like hers, are flooded by
incontinent rivers that carry language and fish
downstream to a subconscious shore, to be
hung to dry by an ancient fisherman. she thinks
i am the swimmer i am not. that if i plunge
feetfirst into an open sea my ankles will not
break. instead i will break the surface with a beard,
rich and salted, tagore's or my grandfather's.
my mother dreams i have her accent. some nights
she is right, with a prescience i put down to
maternal instinct. these are the nights when
language rises like air, the fish swim downstream.
the land i stand on does not subduct under
my feet. these are the nights i do not instead
dream of falling from a skyscraper into an
olympic pool. i do not fall in a language that is
bleached to bone, neither english nor bengali.
By Wahid Al MamunQLRS Vol. 16 No. 4 Oct 2017
Copyright © 2001-2023 The Authors