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two-tongued bodies

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

By Jasmine Kuar

it’s a quiet day and we sit on the grass,

the sun’s presence muted by the clouds.

her hair is long,

and that’s important.

mine’s too,

and that’s important too.

i’m wearing white, rare for me,

but pleasant against the green grass.

we haven’t been talking long when she plucks

a question out of the cool air.

asks me what my body would say, if it could speak.

a bolt of anger rushes through me,

but already starting to fade.

in a few minutes it will be almost completely gone

like all my other sudden rages.

this too is important.

i want to ask her why

she thinks my body doesn’t already speak to me






what else do we call ‘body language’?

i want to tell her that i have a two-tongued body,

so to speak,

a tongue for other bodies.

and a tongue just for me.

my body talks to me,

from my skin to my bones.

my body aches sometimes

because i go too fast, sometimes

because i am stuck in the same space for several songs.

usually i can tell the difference between the aches.

my legs stutter while walking

asking me to pause.

my feet tap the floor

alerting me to building nervousness.

my eyes close

dissolving the world around me.

sometimes my hands help my ears do the same.

i want to tell her that i am still learning

to be a better translator of my own body.

because i was mis-taught to mis-read so much.

that there’s a difference between

muteness and a foreign tongue.

that my body isn’t foreign to me,

but was made foreign to me,

by powers still hard to see.

but i do not have the energy to say all this.

not now. not with the anger already gone.

so before this goes any further,

i answer her with a kiss.


Jasmine Kaur (she/her) is a punjabi, queer writer/artist. She likes to surround herself with stories and poetics in any medium, including audio, video, still images and performance. Some of her work has been published by ...ongoing..., streetcake magazine, and Tilt (by QueerAbad). You can find parts of her on the internet at or @trying0000 on Twitter and @jasmineismeltingintosummer on Instagram.

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