Tongue In Our Mouths

By | 1 June 2022

This is not my tongue,
or my mother’s, or of my land.
Law, however, says it is. A tongue

shoved into our mouths,
a clear violence
of our body, of a people heavily oral,
a clear violence
disguised as benevolence,
as liberatory pleasure. A tongue

from across the Pacific
that forced its way into
our mouths for nearly half a century⁠—
half a century too long that it
still licks our lips some 75 years
after its supposed withdrawal. A tongue

whose buds still dictate
our palate,
whose muscles still slur
our speech,
whose clacks still whip
our laws,
whose sputum still smudges
our identity. A tongue

that I wish for us to cut
with our unsheathed own,
so that we may finally
taste and speak.

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