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iii. lengua seco {mother's salt}

by Richard Paez

this time:
i kneel down to pray
not-quite-naked
robed and roped
in the salty pride
that filled my legions
of all-over-blisters
after i grabbed hold
of your whipping-lash-tail
and dared you
to strike me harder
(come on- i dare you)

next time:
to be
not-quite-born
and hairless-again
shut-eyed inward-staring
and skin-perfectly-marinated again
(extend my moist and tender tongue,
touch it to my mother's salt)


back then:
you wanted nothing more
than a sciatheric-existence
nothing more
than a punching-bag-son
praying-prey
to sink your scorpioid words into

this time:
i want you
to see me for what i am:
a run-away cell-growth
(i don't want to kill you-
i want to replace you)


next time:
to be
free-fly-drifting
and needless-again
wide-eyed innocent
and skin-perfectly-sanguine-again
(extend my moist and tender tongue,
touch it to my mother's salt)


back then:
you wanted nothing more
than a saturnine pin-cushion
nothing more
than a target-practice-child
praying-pray
to touch your dry-and-wanting tongue to

this time:
i want you
to accept me for what i am:
a run-away future
(a cancer
that will never kill you-
just replace you)


years and miles away
curled up and drifting
almost-cured-up and
not-quite-fading-away
i take my mother's salt
just a pinch of my mother's salt
use it to season stale wounds,
reawaken sleeping abrasions

i squeeze
drops of juice from limp and drying blisters
i touch
my tongue to flakes of old blood

taste my mother's gift
the gift of my mother's salt
the gift
she did-and-didn't give to me
the salt-
ocean-water tears-
ocean-water sweat-
ocean-water blood-
the gift of mother's salt

my mother's salt
i touch my tongue to
taste my mother's
taste my mother's salt

and right now:
i swallow you
as you swallowed me
and digest
what you never could

and from now on:
tu lengua seca ya no me tocara,
ya no me limpia,
ya no me viola,
ya no me toca,
no me toca,
no me toca




12/06/2002

Author's Note:
Spanish Translation: (your dry tongue doesn't touch me anymore, doesn't clean me anymore, doesn't violate me anymore, doesn't touch me, doesn't touch me, doesn't touch me)

As always, all my thanks and love to all my friends who've commented and shared their feelings and thoughts. You guys have made all the difference *s*

Posted on 12/06/2002
Copyright © 2022 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Betania Tesch on 12/08/02 at 08:00 PM

you've got to be wounded before you can heal. one step at a time. *soft smiles* everyday is forward. This took courage and has spoken truly. (love to you)

Posted by David R Spellman on 12/09/02 at 06:27 PM

Truly a potent and powerful piece full of such wrenching emotion. A brave step to bare this but a healing in itself I'm sure...

Posted by JD Clay on 01/23/03 at 01:57 PM

This is a magnificent and revealing exposee.........MALACHI. I can taste your tears and they say's to me, you have been and are continually being touched and will stay in the folds of the womb forever. This acknowledgement is truely transformational exposing your roots and wings. Peace...

Posted by Don Coffman on 08/30/03 at 02:23 AM

I'm completely amazed once again, all I can really say to such a superb creation is 'wow'.

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 03/17/04 at 05:17 AM

spit into a looking glass and see what you can see... the image staring back will be half of your whole... you don't need it to survive... this is cataclysmic in it's raw honesty... i am frozen... dumbfound, in the wake of the truth behind the man... incredible writing it out... actually, the best i have ever seen in this style... you are a diamond in the rough... blessings in light...

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 03/17/04 at 05:20 AM

by the way... i am still thinking about the "i don't want to kill you--i want to replace you"... gods, do you know how profound that is?... to have what is your right... a caring a loving mother... i'm so blown away right now...

Posted by Anastasia Selby on 09/07/08 at 06:36 PM

This is gorgeous. Fascinating. I'm speechless.

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