Shakira Sison

Mother Tongue

If I stop speaking you,
you will be like language that’s lost
when other words are chosen
for popularity or ease of use,
how a little is forgotten each time,
the way children can’t speak pain or remorse
with expressions not presented
at the time of emotion.

If I lose you like language,
no longer wanting of words to wish
every wince or woken whimper,
I shall find other ways to place
my mouth that’s mouthed
syllables curled or slanted,
or shut with two lips pressed
to make a sound
of thought or prolonged pleasure.

And yet like mother tongue
I’ll always look for you
turn my head at your faintest tone
in my ear
and run to the medium
of my first aches and loves,
unable to run from origins
longing for how you speak for my heart.

-Shakira Sison