Beaver

Balancing Act

My tongue dances in front
of the mirror.
A waltz,
tip-toe on an English ballroom floor,
the French décor is très magnifique.
Delightful music.
An Italian composer? Russian perhaps?
My tongue dances for an audience,
powerful jury,
it must perfect the waltz to earn their respect,
at least an ounce of it, hopefully.

My tongue dances when
I do not look,
or forget to watch.
Gracefully trots on the balcony,
of my rumah panjai.
It hasn’t perfected the ngajat
like it has almost mastered the waltz.
Still, it falls back on it when it feels at home.
I cannot tell if my roots are holding me back
or if I find it hard to embrace them.

My tongue dances in between
continents. It manoeuvres ever so
carefully as I watch it travel across
oceans, moving in a different manner,
as strange as the next,
I don’t think I can recognise.
My tongue is so foreign to me,
Just as I,
foreign to my peers.

My tongue is dancing in
the midst of a balancing act.
Positioned,
sitting in between the needles of a compass
that points to both west and south-east.
And I,
playing two parts,
am both Romeo and Juliet.

A balancing act of two identities,
One of whom I was born into,
the other created to earn passage
into a land of opportunity,
or maybe,
To kill the other?
Assume a role that earns success or
respect from the people who took it from me?

My tongue is both a dancer and a scale.
I am both the choreographer
and the scientist.
Sometimes,
I cannot figure out the dance my tongue should dance
nor,
can I deduce which of my products weigh more.
Yet, I must continue to perform this balancing act.
My survival instinct tells me to
dance the waltz and ngajat,
never simultaneously,
but I cannot help if I lose control.

I watch my tongue waltz in front of the mirror,
never losing focus.
I’ll let it ngajat in my sleep.

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