the tongue- knows only- sixty breaths before it lives, before it dies

The tongue 
all the death
it has tasted.
It teaches us the
name and memory
of things.
The aquae of
the womb’s ocean
as it dries in the
first gasp of air.
The vitae
coughing out
so the lungs
can start its
invisible cycles
of dying
and renewing.
The taunt
of the nose
denying forever
the tongue’s
right to taste
the light of light,
the invisible
for itself,
the visible
for the eyes
and the mortal
for the body’s
flapping corpus.
The sal of flesh
as it tastes the
lechum of breast.
The tongue knows
the Unami of vowels
before the first words
spoken and heard.
The sweetness of
the first thought
before it dries in the
sourness of memory.
That the first honeyed
almond greeting is refined
from bitter goodbyes.
That leaving home
tastes like oranges.
That love tastes like chocolate
and the newborn like rice.
The tongue knows
from its time with the ocean
that the smell of death
usurps the silence
of a mother’s caress,
the waves of all her
sobs and tears
until the sweet salt
is the last everything
it only always knew.