Her Tongue Thinks of Plagiarizing Itself
by Nandini Dhar
She keeps me tightly curled between her teeth
and the roof of her mouth. Neatly folded in two.
I am wet as birth, can’t really avoid sprouting forth
for all that survives without signals, street signs
and Shakespearean sonnets. I am a bitch who lashes out
at those in keep, unless girdled, saddled, corseted with
care and yen. This, she does provide me with. Love
she doesn’t. For all of my cheek, spunk or bitchery,
I cannot steal words that remain unsaid.
This is indeed a convoluted way of saying,
I am tired of trying to initialize myself on her lips
without much success. Although I creep out during
those spells when she parts them for a drink or lettuce
leaf, I wouldn’t mind tasting something else.
I know she’ll ignore me, the same way
she looks away from the blood on her
fingernails. But I am her most trusted
girlfriend. On the night, when I will finally
learn to untie myself without aid,
I will steal from her what has been mine
from the days of being unnamed, unwritten,
unread. She and I will walk towards the hilly bend,
where I will coerce her to tear apart our names
and bend a little over the edge.
Nandini Dhar’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Muse India, Kritya, Mascara Literary Review, Off the Coast, Pratilipi, tinfoildresses, First Literary Review, Hawaii Review, Prick of the Spindle, Penwood Review, Poetry Quarterly, Stonetelling, Cabinet Des Fees and Asia Writes. A Pushcart nominee, Nandini grew up in Kolkata, India, and received an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Calcutta and another M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon. Currently, she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at University of Texas at Austin.