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Tongues

My tongue knows pain.

It’s been forced to speak

the language of the North

of money and power.


And I lost names for flowers and fruits.


It’s been forced to

speak words that didn’t roll off

the hills of my homeland.


And I lost the ancient prayers of my greatgrandmother.


It has been taught the shame

of the temptation to slip

into the sounds it remembers.


And I lost the language of the waves of the sea.


It has been enslaved and bent

by the demands of a fictitious government.

Forced to be understood across places

that are not home.


And I lost myself in unfamiliar landscapes.


But my tongue is rebellious

it has hidden its memories

deep in my gums

deep in its roots

down my throat

into my chest.


But my tongue holds knowledge

and pain: units of measurements

that speak of journeys

unremembered, unspoken.


But my tongue wants to dance

the ancient dances of the earth

when new people reach the shores

of my welcoming land.


But my tongue knows that to love itself

and to water its roots in my chest

is to love and care, to love and care, to love and care

for the roots of a stranger.


And I know that the time is coming

that we’ll let our tongues dance in victory

a choir of difference

a tower of dissonance

a home of plurilingual harmony

- unashamed.


And then we might realize

that not much language is needed

to love and care, love and care, love and care

what what gives life

what makes our mouth moist

and makes our tongue dance like fire.


The animals, rivers, trees and bees

remind us of this through their

all-powerful, quiet wisdom.

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