On the day I was born
My parents dressed me in my disguise,
Which I wore diligently daily,
Brightly illuminating hope
In my kin’s eyes.
The老太太 [i] widened eyes,
Observes me as kin; excitement,
Short and tight, clings onto their voices,
My legs carried me away
While my mind sat and prayed,
That my disguise told them another story
Of their voice losing its way
Through the storm of the crowd.
Beneath my epidermis lay
A heritage of migratory passages,
That led into an arterial colony
I am a child of children from
The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean.
But what is it worth? I wonder,
In the heat of the cold Mauritian sun,
With the gentle un familyier babble
I, my brother and my sister are rolled
Into one long wallpaper,
To be glanced at then ignored.
My disguise is the only heirloom I own,
The DNA of my parents’ memory,
Is the only testimony I remember,
Instead I am diluted and lost,
Deep in the history of choices made.
I would travel to
The land of my ancestors,
Where my wordless brain freezes:
Je chasserais les os de mots
Dans le cimetière de mon cerveau.[iii]
Leaving me an orphan,
In the blaze of mutual fidelity.
[I] Old woman.
[II] Tell me the way back to the far end of my memories.
[II1] I would chase the bones of words
In the graveyard of my brain.