My Forgotten Tongue

By Arsha Adarsh

My forgotten tongue, bound, quiet, still stirs. Heavy with decades of dust, it calls: do not forget. A lone, weak voice. Atrophied, at the edge of hearing. It's coated in filth- the filth of the past. My heart a tabla beating a footfall; faster, faster, louder, louder. It softens- just for a second. Enough to hear the call: do not forget. Trembling, burning, for the first time I answer.

My broken tongue, I excavate coated in fossilized pain and memory; its grave goods. I peel them away, layer by layer, and put them to rest alone. Then rebuild the missing parts, the broken parts, with stones cut from longing.

My newborn tongue trips on the steps to familiar dances; curls around words like old friends, old loves; clicks into place beside present and past. Each day a remembrance. Each a discovery. I hold them close, and whisper: do not forget.

A response to the National Poetry Month prompt