Two Lines 4: Possession
There is another and he takes you while I sleep.
I am wakened by his rasping moans,
verses written to you ringing in his ear,
the cascade rushing down your throat
to seek the wasp’s nest of the heart. —from “Scardanelli Speaks” by Francisco Hernández, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bell
Yet who are our countrymen? Languages do not locate us. In this issue, we were interested in issues of colonization and domination. We expected tales of occupied nations, and the resulting narratives of personal dispossession and social unrest, but we didn’t expect what now seems inevitable: a preponderance of colonization at the very level of language. Clearly, the colonized write in the colonial tongues, even centuries after the marauders have been chased out or have moved on (or moved in.) […] While the many languages of the world are learned out of the desire to express desires, all people speak in tongues, incomprehensibly, when possessed. —THE EDITORS