The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Two Poems

Painting: Conn Ryder

By Michelle D’Costa

When they ask​​

After Lisa Suhair Majaj’s Guidelines

​​When they ask, ​​​​kitne aadmi the?
​D​on’t say, ​none​​. They won’t believe you​.​
Bollywood’s taught them otherwise.

When they ask, what will you have?
​D​on’t say​, teetotaler​​. They won’t believe you​.​
Bollywood’s taught them otherwise.

When they ask, are your parents together?
​D​on’t say​​​​ 40 years. They won’t believe you​.​
Hollywood’s taught them otherwise.

When they ask, any animal you don’t eat?
​Don’t ​​say, ​chicken​ only​. ​It won’t matter.
​They’ll ask, Chicken or Dragon? What difference?

When they ask, you know any Konkani films?
​S​ay, you’ve ​no clue. They’ll believe you​.​
Minorities have no music or cinema.

When they ask, why don’t you eat prasad?
​D​on’t say you can’t or​ ​you don​’​t want to.
Say, you will​,​ the next time they get some.

When they ask, what plans this weekend?
​D​on’t ​refuse the pub.  They won’t believe you​.​
Just go and pretend​ it’s a library.

When they ask, ​you have no one script, no?
​D​on’t say anything. ​Pretend you don’t know
​of the polygamy. Play dumb like an Arab.

When they ask, ​why just one God​?​
​Admit you’re bored. Say, A God
who fornicates is ​fascinating.

​When they ask, why short dresses?
​D​on’t say, you’re​ ​comfortable​.​
Say the tailor always gets it wrong.​

​They’ll believe what they want to anyway.
​Follow them to the temple, when they ask,
Why can’t you when we go to church?​ 

​Don’t confess during mass.
They’re not watching but
he has seen your spine melt.

***

Closed

After Ranjit Hoskote’s ‘Open for business’

‘Closed’ is the sign we get
when they hear us speak Konkani.
They don’t ‘get’ us.
We could be vegan.

I try to establish a bond,
Konkani is just like Marathi.
What’s on the menu? Any
Christmas specials?

No birthday specials just breasts
for breakfast. The waiter stares,
devours. I shouldn’t have worn this
off-shoulder dress or left home.

The man who gets beef
usually will be arriving soon.
The waiter packs his eyes
and forces me to take them home.

Bio:
Michelle
 D’costa has work published in Coldnoon, Antiserious, The Madras Mag, and more. Do look up her blog here.

***

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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.

***

Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Women as the ‘displaced’: The context of South Asia’, edited by Suranjana Choudhury, academic and Nabanita Sengupta, academic, India.

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