All my life I have prayed in languages I did not know
But is it not enough that I carry my body around?
This body that has soaked itself in rivers I have known,
has dried itself in the wind flowing from your shifting shores.
Even when I sit and look at golden sunsets across the hills,
my body that is in travel and unrest
still finds salvation in memories of the soft afterglow
seeping through the translucence of my window.
In a house that I have left long ago.


Does the moon still bathe the darkness
Of the crooked-staircased terrace
Where I would spend my summer evenings
Of longings and pain?
Crying out with the final glory of the setting sun
That washed over my body
When I would lie in languor
Looking out of the grilled window
That segmented the azure sky
Dotted with a million flying birds
With whom I shared
The lazy afternoons of my sleepy city –
Home. I roll the word in my tongue.

Is it not enough that this body holds my desires and my prayers
When I sit in front of you in submission – time?
What language should I use to reach out to you?
Is it not enough that this vessel carries the water
That’ll dissolve inseparably
and feed its desires into you – time?
My love for you, time,
feels like a second that can last an eternity.


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Sukanya Thumbnail I am an artist-scholar and Assistant Professor in Theatre Studies at the School of Theatre and Dance, San Francisco State University. I received my doctoral degree in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford in June 2016. My dissertation, completed under the guidance of Dr. Jisha Menon, was awarded the Charles R. Lyons Memorial Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. My research project was supported by the Graduate Research Opportunities Award in Stanford, which facilitated my fieldwork in India and Bangladesh during the summer of 2013 and 2014; and the Wisch Fellowship by the Center for South Asia, Stanford University, for my work in South Asian theater and performance studies. My training and specialization are in the area of oral history; postcolonial and ethnic studies (with a focus on South Asian performance studies); ethnomusicology; dramatic literature; transcultural theater and performance; experimental devised performances; and community-based performance-making.


It would be wonderful to hear back from you, and you can always reach me via email.

Sukanya C.