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The 2nd Day of the Tongue

Shira Dentz

My animal pushes through
a length of sentence,
gray, mangy.
A bear lowers a stick into an anthole.

If I had a tongue, my father wanted it.
It wasn’t nice not to give it to him.
I wasn’t nice.
I disrobed from girlhood and
took a boy’s voice instead.
Muzzled and conjoined,
like the b in numb.
My father, farmer of clouds,

I’d like to have my heart cracked like a knuckle,
for waves of lightning to ripple out.

The currency here measured
suspended overhead like some kind of fruit
on such a familiar tree—sycamore?
you don’t need to see it anymore,
tied up in bags weighed heavy with n’ts.

Shira Dentz

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