mes bleus multicolores

as-tu

senti mon cœur

battre

entre tes doigts

sur mon cou

en forme de deux W

laissant passer

un courant d’air

sur ma peau

censurant mon dernier soupir

de dignité

 

as-tu

senti mon cœur

battre

sur ton poing

s’écrasant sur ma poitrine

sur mon bras

sur mon autre bras

terroriste de mon corps

je me ferme les yeux

à chaque écrasement

 

as-tu

senti mon cœur

battre

quand tu l’as enterré

mon corps sa tombe

mes bleus son épitaphe

des hiéroglyphes manuscrits

à l’encre de mon sang

qui a peur de couler

prisonnier de ma peau

 

tes impulsions

colorient mon corps

peignent

notre histoire

à coups d’ecchymoses

je suis devenu

tableau vivant

 

le bleu tourne au vert

le vert c’est beau c’est le printemps

le printemps sur ma peau

la violence se renouvelle

une épitaphe multicolore éclot

fifty shades of blue

du mauve du vert du rouge du jaune

le drapeau gai étampé sur le front

le drapeau blanc dans la main

 

j’attrape un coup

de soleil

sur mon bleu

en maternelle les doigts dans la gouache

j’ai appris que le bleu et le rouge ça fait mauve

c’est faux

ça ne se mélange pas

un bleu sur fond rouge ça reste un bleu

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Language Comparisons I

I would like to take a closer look at some expressions and words that I feel like are strikingly different in English and in French.

Life expectancy vs espérance de vie

So when we speak of a given population’s average life span, English uses the noun expectancy, and French uses the noun espérance, hope. That is to say, Anglophones expect to live to a certain age, while Francophones hope to live to a certain age. Expectations imply confidence, a given right. We demand to at least live that long. Hopes imply luck, a privilege. We would be ever so lucky to live that long. I’m wondering how high of an effect this linguistic difference has on actual perceptions of death. Are French speakers more likely to have a certain carpe diem approach to life, while English speakers would have a more pragmatic, future-oriented way of living, taking for granted their life expectancy? There is a huge difference between hoping for something to happen and expecting something to happen. I don’t wanna make unprovable assumptions, but this difference is fascinating and it must have at least a minor, unconscious effect on our way of thinking.

Domestic violence vs violence conjugale

I am interested in the idea of domesticity here. I find this concept quite odd to use in the context of relationship. This term is used so often in so many contexts. We domesticate pets. They belong to us, we tame them. We also use it in political contexts, where domestic means national, as opposed to international or beyond regional borders. It is the geopolitical entity under the rule of one major head of state (say, a queen, a president, a prime minister). Domestic violence is a civil war. It is among two people who are in a conflict, wanting to own and control the territory. They want to tame the other, to assert rule over the home. Conjugal on the other hand is more difficult to grasp. It is only an adjective implying 2 or more people, together (con-), and jugum meaning yoke. So, two people working together, pulling their weight equally. The concept of equality and justice is prevalent here, and makes the breaking of it through violence all the harsher. As well, we conjugate verbs, they become inflected by the Other, the person they are assigned to.What does this difference between English and French? I don’t know, but it’s huge, and problematic in both cases. But it also adds some richness to the conceptualization of these expressions, and there is poetic and healing value in exploring latent baggage of certain realities that we might be victims of.

Graphic vs graphique

Both the English and French forms of the adjective are used to refer to visuals, to images of sorts, but only the English use it to also mean something that is very vivid, with realistic details, often said of accidents or gory events. The fact that these two meanings are contained in one word is interesting. In English, a written description can be graphic. This means that English makes a certain equation of visuality with reality. Something with graphic qualities is something which is vivid and does not spare details. If it is shown visually, it is graphic in both senses. There might be a hidden connotation here: words hide while images reveal. Graphique, on the other hand, is purely a technical term that refers to visuals.

 

 

beat my heart

beat my heart

 

did you

feel my heart

beat

between your fingers

your soft hands

on my neck

as i heaved

my last sigh of dignity

 

did you

feel my heart

beat

on your fist

crashing on my chest

my arm

my other arm

terrorist of my body

 

did you

feel my heart

beat

as it sank down

to my feet

and buried itself

to close its eyes

my body its tombstone

my bruises the epitaph

 

did you

feel my heart

beat

when you beat my heart

squeezed one last drop of blood from it

with these hands

that once loved me