And I never truly knew who I was talking to
Losing ourselves in thoughts,
we refuse to seek comfort in shared words —
we dare not dwell on this inherited trauma —
I do not want to turn myself inside out, to clarify
I do not want to explain,
I have never wanted anything less —
but to always remain this shared duality of ours
When I returned to school without you
the teacher who tore this language of ours from me told me
languages constitute a social capital
only to be possessed by civilised men
The ability to speak makes us unique
neither animals nor this land, infused with your
ancestors’ blood, can speak
And yet the ice spoke to you that night
Truth be told,
I never really understood him anyway,
and the foreign words burnt a hole through my ears
while I chose to believe his lies
He spoke Swedish to me, each word laced with pain
Remain a rigid nothing,
the government needs your calcified tongue
I filled my lungs with forced laughter.
At school I built stone walls
around my heart.
and sure enough, they managed to reshape me in their
image – tearing our words from me.
I became a mute man
just like that,
having had my language stolen from me
I grew ever smaller.
Your absence is more tangible in this vacuum.
I tear myself from my dreams,
drenched in sweat
breathe you into existence.
Your shoulders kiss the jagged ice floes,
as our tongues find peace in the silence –
the water is cold
against your naked spine
Sometimes I ask myself
if our lives had been different
if it had been me,
and not you
who had found themselves trapped beneath the ice.
I might be dreaming.
I never really know these days.
you wear your black hair like a cape
around your shoulders,
as snowflakes leave sensory messages on my forehead
We long to return,
but I know far too well
that this history cannot be rewritten
I don’t think it’s a good idea to go there.
The two of us could stay here instead
Sure enough, I never said those words back then,
but in my dreams
my lips were sewn shut with threads of sinew
the ice covered my eyes.
The oncoming spring has quickly changed this place,
yet the cold of a hundred winters surround you.
Six feet under, the sun does not shine
My lips kiss the frozen ground.
The memory of newly picked red berries
the stomach remains empty,
and I dare not carry on.
I long for water
yet the thirst for my language
I could only ever picture you
resting cross-legged by the banks of Luvlie Geavhta.
The net-needle in your right hand,
with your fishing net spread across your lap
this inherited knowledge which is passed on from one
generation to the next
find itself dying with me
butterflies chasing each other across the loch
You taught me once,
how to catch whitefish here
but I have yet to learn
how to retrace your fading steps
We were headed back to the land of our ancestors
straddling skidoos from hell
between towering mountains and ice-covered lochs
the sleet and ice soaked the two of us to the bone.
We undressed on the banks of the vast expanse
The wind made you soar,
though the shackles of time plagued you
Forced by a childhood rule to keep silent,
we dare not speak as we put on our shoes again
Do not speak
the northern lights could hear you
tear you asunder
If the two of us open our mouths
if we dare to live.
And yet I speak
I do not seek my death in these mountains
My voice echoes across the land
like an avalanche
I have yet to catch a single one of them
And in a freezing mountain lake
you drowned yourself
on a dreamt, yet daily basis
I keep a pale, white stone
in my left hand,
allowing it to sink into the blue of my veins
but trapped in a winter storm, there is nothing
that could change the course of these events
you become the yoiked essence of a river,
as you sing the creation of my being
who knows these days?
at night, we let our voices intermingle
turning a dual longing into one
Once again, you walk yourself
towards your death
Jaame-aajmoe, the land of the dead, on Repeat
The roar of the ice rips itself into a billion pieces
I don’t quite understand what’s happening
but beneath the northern lights
the two of us disintegrate
As I return to the snowstorm
I try to make you change your mind one last time
My life is not meant as a sacrifice to a mountain lake
The two of us could stay here instead
They stare at me from the other side of death,
lips void of words
their black eyes burning like fires.
do not fear the inevitable, we have to go on
the wind swallows us whole.
At last the spring arrives,
you set the sun loose inside my hollow ribcage –
but the pregnant land is still asleep
when I awake from my slumber
there will be trees, their branches covered with flowers
cradling the heavens above me
And I never truly knew
who I was talking to
that day when you finally left me
but I still carry your name in my heart
like an amulet from the old days
hoping that it will protect me from the evils of this world