Parinitha Shetty

| @ | March 8,2020

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ILENCE all your loudspeakers,

Dim the stages where words are spoken and heard,

Now that you have named an entire day after us,

Will you listen to the words we speak

From the invisible corners and edges that we inhabit

On all the other days of the calendar?

Can we amplify our whispers

That seep unseen through  the indescribable longings of our skinned flesh,

Scatter quietly through the incoherence of our wayward dreams,

Creep stealthily into the routines of our lives cramped through fear?

Shall we show you how to scramble the

Mapping of bodies into space?

Will you recognize the cartographies through which

We structure spaces without thresholds and doors, and

Inhabit them through shaping kinships of our choice?

Shall we lead you there? For there

The roads will be travelled by the songs we sing.

Under quiet trees, we will raise shrill strange questions.

At the intersections of crowded buildings

We will stage intimacies into spectacles of the unrecognized.

In  cradles hung between the sky and the sea

We will croon to babies  gentle lullabies and

stories of the many possibilities of being alive with love.

So today  will you listen to us

As we wrench apart the grammar

Of the sayable and the hearable?

Will, you listen long enough to be puzzled,

Long enough to go astray of yourselves,

Long enough to forget the language,

That spoke you into being the heads of families,

That spoke you into bearing the insignias of power,

That spoke you into becoming adults who can discipline

That spoke to you the rhetoric that shapes the violence of mobs?

A day is too short to teach how to listen.

A day is too short to learn how to listen.

Yet, today shall we talk to each other in our many tongues?

Shall we learn a difficult listening?

For when we begin that slow and arduous conversation

Then calendars will cease to mark a day for us,

Then microphones will not authorize speech,

Then public stages will unravel and

Wind their way through invisible corners

Accommodating the grammar of the unheard.

– Parinitha

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