"The Void" Contest Winners / March 2014 (Issue 23)


by Amit Shankar Saha

It has been fifteen years
since I last spoke,
(that is,
spoke what I wanted to).
There was no gag order
against speaking,
but, there was no interface
to speak through.
There was not even
social networking.

The tongue -
that difficult instrument -
rusting unburnished,
not shining in use.

I cannot stop one of three
and tell him or her my story,
for even though
all, all alone
I had been,
no scarcity of gods there seem to be.

Now I cannot speak,
(that is,
speak the way I want to).
I have succumbed to subalternity.
There has been no intervention.
No one has deconstructed me.

I tell myself that since I write
I won’t have to speak.
But, invariably, I have to.
People expect fluency.
I too desire the same -
a quickness of memory,
a clarity of logic,
an articulation of thought:
the brain retards,
aphasia sets in.
This is a Finalist of Cha's "Void" Poetry Contest. Read a description of the poem by Amit Shankar Saha here. [Read Daryl Yam's commentary on this poem.] [Return to the "Void" section.]
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