Encountering Poetry / March 2012 (Issue 16)


by Aditi Rao

Act 2, Scene 1
(through the peephole)

Why are you here?
        I stole too many words.
Are you bringing them back?
        I have looked. They are nowhere.
I need you to try harder.
        They’ve had time to run far.
I need you to try harder.
        I am too tired to hunt.
We have nothing without them.
        You may not recognize them.
I’ll make them mine again.
        They may be dead, you know.
I need you to try harder.

Act 2, Scene 4
(over dimsum)

        Have you heard of spillage?
Is that a new word?
        It is a moment when everything
        you’ve held falls out, becomes oil,
        becomes vapor, becomes knife.  
        Rebirth means nothing after that.

But you are here.
        Only a little.

Act 3, Scene 3
(on the terrace)

In the past, there was always a future
where I spoke a whole language
(on good days, even three).
        We'll invent a new language.
Will it be whole?
        We can try.
Will it hurt?
        Less than silence.
Will we include spillage?
        I wish we didn't have to.
What if we lose this one too?
        I’m sorry.
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