by Michelle D’costa
I was a poor unfortunate soul until I met him.
Konkani slipped into my English like fat roaches
slipped under our door right after pest control.
When we dated, he told me I had to wipe out
Konkani from my system if I wanted to fit in
with his family. I poured home-made wine
from Mangalore into my mouth and emptied
my system of every Konkani word into the bottle’s mouth.
Sealed it and abandoned it at the beach.
My voice is in a bottle the way Ariel’s was in a shell.
My husband tells me, You need to see a therapist.
You’ve been talking in your sleep.
Did someone find the bottle? Do I name my exes?
You speak in Konkani. It disturbs me. It feels like
you’re conspiring against me. I refrain from shutting
my eyes. I silently count bottles filled with Konkani
while he snores away in English, his tentacles, resting.
About the Author:
Michelle D’costa is a Mangalorean from Mumbai. She was born and raised in Bahrain. She works at Bound, a literary company. Her poetry and prose have been published in journals like Out Of Print, Eclectica, Litro UK, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Coldnoon, Vayavya, Guftugu and more. She loves to interview writers.
Image: simianwolverine: Someshwar Beach, Mangalore, 2012 (CC, adapted)