Gift of Tongues

You see me.
You stick out your tongue.
“Put that thing away,” I shout,
“it could be dangerous.”

If Satan has a forked tongue,
does he enjoy spicy foods
or are they just too damn hot?

The round, pink worm
pushes Gerber’s carrots and peas
across emerging teeth,
through thin lips
where it spills, orange and green
over the chin.

Twenty years later,
in an expensive restaurant,
the worm would set forth again
if adult teeth did not cage it.

I think we should name our tongues.
Out of all of our body parts,
they do the most –
conspirators in love and lust,
chatting and chewing,
and death when the blossom blue
among white stones.

I’ll call mine “Sid.”

When she was five,
her father told her
to hold her tongue.
Thirty-three years later,
her fingers are tired.
She’ll let it go
some day soon.

When Jesus came back to visit
after his three day weekend,
he gave his pals
the gift of tongues
and most of his friends died
wearing that accessory.

I think that I
would have preferred a T-shirt
or even just a postcard
and maybe that’s why Jesus and I
don’t hang together.

“Vaya con Dios,” Jesus says to me
and I respond “Catch you later.”

When you are young,
you stick out your tongue
as far as it will protrude.
You lift it –
trying to taste your nose,
trying to smell your tongue.

Philosophers will tell you someday
to know yourself.
Ask them
how a nose tastes,
how a tongue smells.
If they cannot answer,
they have forgotten who they are.

You see me.
You stick out your tongue.
“If you’re going to bring that
out in public,” I say,
“you’d best be prepared to use it.”

Leave a Reply