home is a verb
By Christiana Jasutan

 

push

I

rusty

like

a torch

of my

tulang⁴ 

despite all

sayang⁶

 

pace

don’t

rumah²

love

at the

tongue

scrapimg

save

 

pulang¹

feel

rindu³

lit

back

twisting

tajam⁵

me

Footnotes:

¹My grandparents ran from their countries. When home stops becoming a place, it turns into a journey.

²Four walls, a roof, a floor, and everything still smells like soil.

³I am homesick for a place that has never claimed me. A place that didn’t birth my rib.

⁴Perhaps language creeps from another country, swims through the sea, before finally

finding ground in the hollowness of my bones.

Perhaps I have swallowed it and now it burns my throat.

⁶Nevertheless, my love is an action, not possession.

¹Indonesian – go home (verb)

²Indonesian – home (noun)

³Indonesian – missing someone (noun, verb)

⁴Indonesian – bone (noun)

Indonesian – sharp (adjective)

⁶Indonesian – dear, love (noun), loving someone sincerely without expecting anything in return (verb)