Latin Roots

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
Email: tania.erzinger@gmail.com
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 @artyvagabondhttps://poetryvagabond.wordpress.com/



by TAK Erzinger

TAK Erzinger is an American/Swiss poet, artist and teacher with a Latino background. Her close relationship with nature and her struggles with PTSD feature prominently in her work. The themes in her poetry touch upon varying degrees of loss, forgiveness and healing, as well some environmental and social commentary. She lives in a Swiss valley with her husband and two cats.


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2 responses to “Latin Roots

  1. Thank you Laura for your positive feedback! I am happy that the poem spoke to you and that you can find appreciation in its words.

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