-for Mary Rowlandson
I pull out my own tongue,
having no trouble grasping it.
I tear it out gradually,
and when it comes loose, I fling it on the quilt,
having no trouble grasping
I must live now without a tongue.
When it comes loose and I fling it,
perfectly mauve, sleek as a fish,
I wonder: what can I swallow without a tongue?
It’s smaller than I’d imagined,
and I try swallowing without it
only to discover I’ve grown another already,
smaller than I imagined,
perhaps under the first all along.
If only to uncover another,
I pull out my own tongue.