Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "They'll say: "She must be from another country" by Imtiaz Dharker



When I can’t comprehend
why they’re burning books

or slashing paintings,

when they can’t bear to look

at god’s own nakedness,

when they ban the film

and gut the seats to stop the play

and I ask why

they just smile and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When I speak on the phone

and the vowel sounds are off

when the consonants are hard

and they should be soft,

they’ll catch on at once

they’ll pin it down

they’ll explain it right away

to their own satisfaction,

they’ll cluck their tongues

and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When my mouth goes up

instead of down,

when I wear a tablecloth

to go to town,

when they suspect I’m black

or hear I’m gay

they won’t be surprised,

they’ll purse their lips

and say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


When I eat up the olives

and spit out the pits

when I yawn at the opera

in the tragic bits

when I pee in the vineyard

as if it were Bombay,

flaunting my bare ass

covering my face

laughing through my hands

they’ll turn away,

shake their heads quite sadly,

‘She doesn’t know any better,’

they’ll say,

‘She must be

from another country.’


Maybe there is a country

where all of us live,

all of us freaks

who aren’t able to give

our loyalty to fat old fools,

the crooks and thugs

who wear the uniform

that gives them the right

to wave a flag,

puff out their chests,

put their feet on our necks,

and break their own rules.


But from where we are

it doesn’t look like a country,    

it’s more like the cracks

that grow between borders

behind their backs.

That’s where I live.

And I’ll be happy to say,

‘I never learned your customs.

I don’t remember your language

or know your ways.

I must be

from another country.’



by Imtiaz Dharker



For more information on poet, Imtiaz Dharker, see:



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