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Saturday, February 6, 2010

THE TONGUE IS by Yusef Komunyakaa

xeroxed on brainmatter.
Grid-squares of words spread
like dirty oil over a lake.
The tongue even lies to itself,
gathering wildfire for songs of gibe.
Malcontented clamor, swish of reeds.
Slow, erratic, memory's loose
grain goes deep as water
in the savage green of oleander.
The tongue skips a beat, link of truth...
a chain running off a blue bicycle.
It starts like the slow knocking
in a radiator's rusty belly.
I enter my guilty plea
dry as the tongue of a beggar's
unlaced show.  The tongue labors,
a victrola in the mad mouth-hole
of 3 A.M. sorrow.

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