Needs No Sharpening

When daughter was in second grade

we were summoned to the school,

told she stuck out her tongue,

angry at something her teacher

Mrs. Stevens said.

Daughter protests, I was

only wetting my lips, but

we knew better.

A tongue stuck out sharp and

pointed is an eight year old's

way of saying, go fuck yourself.


My tongue, too, is a tool. I can

be the Butcher of Bakersfield with

indiscriminate two-bladed sword,

savage in its attack. Or my tongue is a

surgeon's scalpel forming words that

cut right to the heart of the matter,

excising diseased tissue, those

cancers that threaten to

take over and get between us.


But a tongue needn't form

words to be useful.


My tongue is a drum, it

articulates our rhythm and

our dance. Sometimes a snare,

rat a tat a tat a tat, sometimes a bass,

dumma dum dum, dumma dum dum,

now we'll waltz, one two, three,

one, two, three.


And I'm happiest when my scratchy, sandpaper

tongue is a kitten grooming. I lick away the

scent of sea and sweat and the

salt from your sweet and secret places, too.


Poetic Asides Prompt: Day 8

For today's prompt, pick a tool, make that the title of your poem, and write your poem. There are the more obvious tools, of course: hammer, screwdriver, wrench, etc. But there also less obvious tools and/or specialized tools available as well. Before attacking this poem, you may want to just think about the various possibilities first. Or just write.