The Tongue


The Tongue



Through the back door

he took the baseball bat

and hammered the rattlesnake to death.

Feasting on decadence, he escaped the burning sunrise

and ate the last petal of the last rose.

No one could persuade him of unity,

not even her with her undulating promises of love.

He was saddled in the seat of pride,

turning eastward to raise a glass

to Armageddon.

She broke his removed look

with a touch of her tongue to his lips.

She tuned her hair to flames, and called out to follow.

As he lifted his hand to touch her skin,

she took him in a dream to a land where

people wandered intoxicated with sorrow,

on account of their ill-formed hearts,

where children were weary,

baptized by the grotesque art

of selfishness.

He called – adultery.

She called back – It is your accomplishment.

He watched her tongue turn to water then

drip on the grass, tuning the whole scene

into stone.

We must go she said. She said,

there is no belonging,

only intimacy achieved, fought for.

Without protest, he curled into her arms

hiding in peace, safe beneath her golden sails.




Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Academy of the Heart and Mind” 2018



Published in “Ygdrasil – A Journal of the Poetic Arts” July 2018

Ygdrasil, July 2018-1807

Click to access Y-1807.pdf



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



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  1. Pingback: The Tongue – The Militant Negro™

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