Poetry Monday: Tanzila Ahmed

Original Art by Taz Ahmed

Original Art by Taz Ahmed


You make me yearn for my mother tongue.
My brown fingers intertwine yours as I pull you, eedhigay, towards me,
Lips graze your neck, asthay, as my instincts form soft sounds,
Saved only for special people.
“Choloh” I whisper in your ear as I tug you into the dark.

My words are incomplete, grasping at breath for a language that sits with me unfinished.
Mother tongue is no longer fully my own,
Hyphenated into perpetuity,
Taken to the grave.
I speak at grade school level and my pronunciation is halfway around the world.
This language is frustrated, driven to the surface when angry,
And I guess,
When I’m in love.
Implicitly my mouth aches to create a language of home with you.
A common language of love.
A taste of us.

When you are near, I’m surprised at how this tongue rises to lick sweet nothings into your ears
It is distantly yours as well,
And clumsily our ancestral muscle memories
Seek remembrance in expression of which was once ours.
Into you I fold.
You kiss me like it’s your birthright.
My being has turned instinctive. Guttural. Reactionary.
Your arms slink slowly around my back,
Wordsmithing what your throat catches.
Our brown skin merging into one translation.

A vocabulary incomplete,
Touch lilts what struggling voices cannot.
Aasho, your skin tastes,
Eekhanay, my fingers trace,
Aanando, your palm caresses,
Aaro. More. Aakhon. Right now.
Amar praan. My soul.
In you, my words find home.

Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a Love, Inshallah contributor, poet, political organizer,cultural writer and activist who enjoys dancing in a moshpit every now and then.  Taz has two chapbooks out, including Secret Confessions Chapbook. This post originally appeared on her blog. 

3 Comments on “Poetry Monday: Tanzila Ahmed”

  1. Maleeha says:

    Lucky guy, to be so passionately loved.

  2. Shoron says:

    It was just surreal. Definitely can relate.