Four Good Words: Sarita Jenamani

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Sarita Jenamani is a poet of Indian origin based in Austria, a literary translator, anthologist, editor of a bilingual magazine for migrant literature – Words & Worlds –, a human rights activist, a feminist and general secretary of PEN International’s Austrian chapter. She has so far three collections of poetry to her credit. She has received many literary fellowships in Germany and in Austria including those of the prestigious organizations of ‘Heinrich Böll Foundation and ‘Künstlerdorf Schöppingen’.

And Other Love Songs

Do not ask them
about the scars on their bodies.
They lick their scars in silent afternoons
in the same elegant way
they plait their hair
after an unwilling act of lovemaking.
In them
Sometimes a cremation ground incinerates
Sometimes suicidal Tulsi plant breaths it’s last
Signs that seem to be alive
through the vital language that names them
Do not ask them
for the traces of their tongues
They are taught
the best part of their sentences
is silence
they know how to sweep out
their voices
from their yards day in day out
They master the ability to distil
the hunch of existence
They mute their scars
With their silenced love songs