Speaking Tongues

Speaking Tongues


I speak in tongues

Words that mean nothing

To anyone but myself

(And even then, I’m not so sure)

Fall from my mouth

Languid like honey

But not sweet, rather bitter

With the reality that

They mean nothing

Nothing to anyone but, maybe,

Myself

I speak in tongues

With a swollen tongue

That drools lazily and dabbles on

And on

And on

And on

 About

Nothing

The universe turns its ears away from such nonsense

And yet this tongue still dribbles and drools

Talking to itself

I am privy to its conversation

I wish I was not

Ideas swim and swirl in the back of my throat

They are coherent there, they make sense

I’m sure they do

Then why is it

When they crawl to the tip of my tongue

They devolve and dissolve

Into bitter nothings?

I speak in tongues

And it is this speaking tongue

That chatters so freely, without restraint.

It is as if I

Am not the one

Who is truly

Speaking.


The poem fits into the communication/miscommunication theme, especially the miscommunication aspect of the theme, as it is laterally a poem about a tongue, which appears to talk of its own volition to the chagrin to all around it and the narrator of the poem, as the tongue appears to speak complete nonsense. No one really understands the tongue; even the narrator is not so sure of what it is truly talking about. And because of this the narrator laments their “sentient” tongue and the fact that though they try to produce coherent ideas, they always fall into nonsense because of their tongue.


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