Voice

Shreya Vikram

Sometimes, it happens.

Your voice, you see, it disappears. No warning, no explanation.

Vanished. Absent. Lost.

I say ‘you’ when I should be saying ‘I’. I know this. I know futility. I know I am really asking: if I tell this story differently, will I bring my voice back?

No, I suppose. (I am nothing if not pragmatic.)

I, then.

Well, sometime, it happened- to me- sometime last year- after June.

A portrait: birthdays in June, a voice in my throat, swollen, a jewel.

I sing on my birthday.

A portrait: laughter high and free, song breathing through candlelight and cake, a voice shaping into my lips and I don’t know what to do with my hands and so I sing. In my mouth, the word ‘you’ changes to ‘me’ and the line: happy birthday to me is so ridiculous, we burst out laughing instead.

This is how it was…

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