Terri Carrion – Lazy Tongue


Suddenly, I’m in speech therapy, a mirror in my hand, a thin gringa hovering over my shoulder, asking me to repeat, sarsaparilla, seashells, somersault, while she points at her tongue to show where mine should be, because it’s lazy, refuses to rise to that spot behind my top front teeth to form the perfect S sound, snakes, sweat, stereo, she is recording me now, so I can hear when I accidentally get it right, remember how it feels, do it again, stupid, spic, soledad, the gringa is persistent, says I must practice everyday at home, my tongue needs exercise, skateboard, summer, Estevan, my tongue is heavy, collapses from exhaustion, takes up more space in my mouth than before, like I’ve bit off too much of a Cuban sandwich, saliva, sucia, stink, I think of my mother buying cow tongue at the meat market, that big slab in the frying pan, suspiro, somnambulist, system, the gringa says that’s enough for today, sends me back home, stucco, stained glass, San Lazaro—where my mother stands in the kitchen, slicing cebollas and singing those strange Galician songs with all the wrong kinds of S’s.

Poem selected by Emilia Mirazchiyska, series’ editor


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Terri Carrion
Terri Carrion is a first generation American conceived in Venezuela and born in New York to a Galician mother and Cuban father. Terri Carrion earned her MFA from Florida International University. Her poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art and photography has appeared and disappeared in various print magazines as well as online, including “The Cream City Review”, “Hanging Loose”, “Pearl”, “Penumbra”, “Exquisite Corpse”, “Mangrov”e, “Kick Ass Review”, “Exquisite Corpse”, “Jack”, “Mipoesia”, “Dead Drunk Dublin”, and among others. Some of her translation projects include selecting from and editing the bilingual anthology of Venezuelan women writers, “Perfiles de la Noche/Profiles of Nigh”t, print edition edited by Rowena Hill, for online publication. She also co-translated via the internet with Galician natives, F.R Lavandeira and Loreto Riveiro, the trilingual Galician Anthology of Poetry and Prose, (Galician/Spanish/English) published on BigBridge.org. Curently she is president of Anhinga Press and Co-founder of the global grassroots movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change.