Speaking on the Mother Tongue Yawp Video

Speaking on the Mother Tongue

Jose Alvarez Escontrela

I have acquired my hood to cover

all the nuances of my past tongue,

now forsaken in the past tense

of those who remember a bright time.

Now I speak with the gristle of a language

on top of the gristle of a language,

on top of the gristle of a language,

there’s not real meat attached to the bone

of the core structure of my words.

There’s a sound of the forgotten words

trying to climb through my spine into my throat

and beyond. Then they clash into my new words,

in this new foreign land where there are not

silly little lines on top of words to mark pronunciation,

where some letters are discarded

and the ñ is not on sight.

Now I speak for those who inhabit two worlds,

with a field broken in two sides by silence

and with words leaking into each half.

Confused by the pronunciation and tenses,

trying to find my rock to stand straight

and see in the perched field where to put my next step.

more poems:

It is finished

Acts of Light

Milkshakes in the Rain

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