Tatev Chakhian - MY COMFORT ZONE

I know six languages –
all of them imperfectly.
It means I make up half of the conversations,
I build up half of what I read,
and this endless monologue is the guarantee of my happiness:
any book may end up the way I want.
Translating misunderstood poems
touches my soft palate
like the hospitality of a restaurant owner.
Road signs in foreign languages
protect my freedom of movement,
but more often give me the right to get lost.
I always have the privilege to agree silently and smile.
I always have the choice not to understand but keep smiling.
Not knowing is not a mitigating factor,
but as all I know is six languages,
all of them imperfectly –
I always have the advantage
to mitigate the factors.

Translated by Tatev Chakhian