Me

Me

By Amrita Pritam 1919–2005 Amrita Pritam

Translated from the Punjabi by D.H. Tracy & Mohan Tracy Read the translator's notes

Lots of contemporaries—
but “me” is not my contemporary.

My birth without “me”
was a blemished offering on the collection plate.
A moment of flesh, imprisoned in flesh.

And when to the tip of this tongue of flesh
some word comes, it kills itself.
If saved from killing itself,
it descends to the paper, where a murder happens.

Gunshot—
if it strikes me in Hanoi
it strikes again in Prague.

A little smoke floats up,
and my “me” dies like an eighth-month child.
Will my “me” one day be my contemporary?

Source: Poetry (June 2011).

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Amrita Pritam 1919–2005

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Subjects Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse