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
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
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.