Amit Majmudar


This is a country you belong to
by longing 
to belong to it.
The people who tell you to go 
home feel like their
home left
home long ago.
A woman in Queens in the 1970s
wore snowboots 
under a purple saree. 
A boy in Cleveland in the 1990s
marveled that a white girl
let him tongue the orange Trident out of her mouth.
A race that vanishes when mixed with,
a religion of subdued weddings—
no horse, no dholak, no garlands, no bhangra. 
This is a country
where everything is possible
including everything’s
Mutually assured deracination.
Did the grandson
who can’t speak to his grandparents
never bother to learn the language?
Or did the son
never bother 
to teach it?

​​Amit Majmudar is an internationally published poet, novelist, translator, and essayist, as well as the former first Poet Laureate of Ohio. His forthcoming volumes in the United States include Twin A: A Memoir and Black Avatar and Other Essays. A three-volume retelling of the Mahabharata is forthcoming in India. His most recent poetry collection is What He Did in Solitary (Knopf, 2020), and he is currently co-creating a graphic novel, The Mustang Sutra. He works as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children.