Amit Majmudar: Translators


These shapely words we yearn to shapeshift,
wordless, wordsmith-smitten,
we must shape now out of sand and syntax,
our hands engulfed in mittens.

The most straightforward this-was-there
tongue-twisters up and slips
the Kansas out from under Dorothy,
the answers off our lips.

Our Blue Mosques made of glue and toothpicks,
our Sacre-Coeurs, of clay,
we reduce the house we reproduce,
and the God inside won’t stay.

At best we bridge and botch it, arch
by arch and verse by verse—
this knock-off aqueduct that carries
not the water but the thirst.

Amit Majmudar

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