Tongue

Daring inhabitant of a confined space

bounded by what can bruise, slice

 

or even kill the organ — a bilobate, blind, mouthless moray

lurking in a shark’s maw, subsisting

 

on scraps gleaned from fangs

— darting between our incisors, canines, molars

 

with arrogant assurance.  Or, because the tongue

is affixed to the floor of this slaughterhouse,

 

a blood-red sea anemone

without an oral fissure

 

waving among sharp rocks: a bifid flag of flesh

lurching and returning between white metal shards

 

mostly unscathed: snaps, whistles,

drone of the vibrating fabric

 

syllables of speech

and song

Published online June 01 2010.


The Early Years cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Early Years,’ the Summer 2010 issue of CV2.

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