“The language you think in is the one you’re most comfortable in.”

my eighth grade English teacher had once announced, 

to a class of yawning teenagers.

I sat in the front row, squeezing my eyes shut

to try and think.

But thinking about thinking is harder than you’d think.


I’d always found language to be fluid-

Swirling through every curve of my brain,

Golden elixir of unfathomable might.

How could I possibly tame it into a singular stream?

Slap on a name?


I speak four languages

But my thoughts are molded out of pure paranoia-

You see, when you’re cursed with over-caring,

Overthinking comes along uninvited.


I speak four languages

But I know that English is velvet,

Firm, soft to the touch,

Proud, cautious, quick to blame

Yet equally as quick to defend


I speak four languages

But I know that Bangla is honey,

Thick and syrupy,

Dripping forgiveness, motherly love,

Weighing me down with its undeniable sweetness


I speak four languages

But I know that Hindi is silk,

Smooth and rich,

Slipping in and out of my fingers, a tease

Dancing in the breeze, carefree


I speak four languages

But I know that French is cotton candy,

Light, fluffy, pastel pink,

Melt-in-your-mouth decadence

Tongue-fizzlingly delightful in its transience


I speak four languages, didi,

But when I saw your familiar curls

Splayed across the pavement, basking in a pool of blood,

I could not summon a single thought.


I speak five languages now.

But the language of loss is cotton,

Incomparably authentic, paper-starch,

Takes a second to master, but a lifetime to forget.


Finally I know which language I think in.


A 2nd-year Communications major trying to squeeze in minors in English and Cognitive Science, Ayushee is a meme-enthusiast who firmly believes that pineapple belongs on pizza and that dark chocolate is the universal cure to a bad day.

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