My Tongue Fell Out and I Started to Lie

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Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by these stories and commentaries: Police violence, coronavirus and inequality stealing black lives, Appeals court condemns humiliating mass strip search of women prisoners, The world’s first DNA exoneration, the rape that wasn’t, and a lesson unlearned. For more poetry in this series, click here.

Sarah Blackmon

They taught me how to wade, but they never taught me how to swim. I drowned on my way to shore. My ocean of lies swallowed me whole.
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I knowingly placed myself into a box and yet still screamed to be let out.
The hands of my ancestors wrapped around my neck, coaxing my mouth to open–
my tongue fell out as I lost my place with the Lord.
My tongue can be found nailed to a cross with my lies and past on opposing crosses beside it. Watch the Lord resurrect my tongue as my body awakens.
Reanimate the body.
Reanimate my body.
Reanimate my tongue. The cycle will continue.

Sarah Blackmon. Virgo Sun. Scorpio Moon. Libra Rising. Reluctant, but happy educator of young children.