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By Amit Majmudar

    1. Self-Portrait as Sanskrit Letter
A crossbeam. From it,
My body dangles,
Limbs in a tangle.
“Language of the Gods”—
I’m sure having a devil
Of a time learning it!
The Gods point at me
And read along
With a cosmic guffaw:
ह, ह, ह,
Ha, ha, ha.

    2. Self-Portrait as Arabic Letter
Seagulls, seagulls, seagulls
Circle and peck the litter
On the shore of me,
Letter after practice letter,
Squiggles, squiggles, squiggles
In a child’s drawing
Of the sky. I sense
These letters sense
The shame within—
,س ,س ,س
Sin, sin, sin.