The Body Of My Language

By Juliette Tocino-Smith

My body is the territory of my language
Underneath my arteries and blood vessels.
My language circulates, it simmers.

It travels to the foot, the elbow and at times the heart.
Underneath its shield of firm skin that envelops it, that suppresses it
My language at times suffocates.

Other societies twist my lips in different directions,
And my language, my sweet language,
Feels betrayed.

It weeps, it whines, it wails,
And finally lays the groundwork for sabotage.

In an attack on the ruling forces
It bounces through the cracks
Of my insufficiency.

At once, it seizes control over my vocal chords
And bleeds out a reminder, a remainder
Of its existence.

When the trial comes
And I ought to be pressed charges
Against, for my continuous stammer, stutter and sputter

You may probe into the secret activities
That boil under the frontier of my skin
Look out for potential gesticulations and flare-ups

For you may excavate, in absolute state
Of decay and disrepair
My language, my sweet language,
This jealous aspiring autocrat.