The first foreign language
I ever heard gave me a heat rush,
humid and wet. It sent back echoes of
ancestral cries, una lengua licking
around my ears. It hung in the air,
a concoction of intoxicating sounds
bouncing between the four walls of our
cramped kitchen. A salacious mix of
garlic, cumino, cilantro and lust.
Each word boiling over into a
simmering, sexy recipe that has
been cultivated and passed down
from the sweltering Amazon.
Its vulgar origins rolling over a vast
ocean from the Iberian peninsula,
delivering an unwanted and twisted package.
Its contents bastardized the native balance
and shackled those mysterious beings
from the heart of a dark continent,
creating a language developed from pain.
Through this unwanted merger
sweaty bongo beats and rapid rhythms,
played out into a dialect of stolen heritages
communicating in a devilish dance of
wagging tongue and swinging hips.
I heard it first from my mother, it reverberated
through her, between the four walls of our
cramped kitchen. Her words poured forth
accentuated, pulsated and thick.
I listened as the exposure of a hidden
history came rolling out in sensual sounds,
each syllable doing a salsa off her tongue,
teaching me the vernacular of our Latin roots.
Author: TAK Erzinger
Author Bio: TAK Erzinger is an American/Swiss poet and artist. She originates from Florida and spent most of her childhood in Kentucky. She is also an English teacher who earned a BA in English from Boston University and her certification as an English Language Teacher from the University of Cambridge.
Her poems have been published in “The Annual 2017” by Her Heart Poetry Publishing Press, as well as in “Against the Wind” and “Seasoned with Love” anthologies by Artson Publishing House. Most recently six of her poems were published by The Origami Poetry Project, into her first micro-chap collection entitled “Water Songs.” At the end of 2016, she suffered a nervous break-down and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); ever since then nature, writing and art have been accompanying her through the recovery process. Last summer, as part of this process she walked through Switzerland on the St. Jacob’s Way.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @artyvagabond | https://poetryvagabond.wordpress.com/