When I learned there was more
than one language, I raised a finger to my tongue
in wonder of what it lacked. When I learned
there was more than one language, my neck warmed
from embarrassment. My parents had kept secrets.
I began to suspect everything of concealing
idiom. Outside, trees would shiver codes
in long shadows. Kitchen knives would glint sequences
when held. A boy understands most what he touches.
I heard cielo and pictured a horse-hair bow on taut strings.
Luz was the verb for all that was and would be taken.
My children have yet to tongue the empty space
in their mouths — that special gap histories fall out of,
their cavities of singing, their cavity singular.
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