Meena Kandasamy

1984 - / Chennai / India

Eating Dirt

her famished tongue feasted on dreams
and she catered to its cravings—
green mangoes clay cloying chalk
citrus soap crusty coal raw rice
crushed ice cubes crayons ash
powdered glass pickled garlic
salt sieved rain-scented soil

a son was born, he was fed
and he learnt to feed
soon he was caught eating mud
a son taking after his mother
a son inheriting her tongue

she tied her speechless moon to a millstone
and after some frantic spanking
she saw in his cloudy mouth
the truth of the three worlds—
sand everywhere, everything
turning to sand.
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