Shame is the reaction requested when they look you in the mouth and say,

“lost her language”,

but I know language well enough to pinpoint each time it’s lost instead of stole,
and that
 shame alone cannot build homes or sustain bodies.

So I speak the Queen’s English, every day

and you must admit it’s fun to watch her squirm

as I roll her words on my wild tongue like they’re chokecherries

the way my fingers expand those sentences into shapes she doesn’t recognize/can’t read

Break into her locked cupboards to devour greedily the literatures, philosophies;

get drunk and daring on the poetries
all of those nice, proper words that linger on my lips a bit

too

long. as if they liked it there (imagine the audacity)

Send me to bed early with no supper

I’ll keep playing with colonizer’s languages

bringing pleasure back to written letters weaponized to rip through flesh like mine

see those syllables  m e l t  at the touch of my nehiyawiskwew softness

(imagine the audacity) brown softness

in a world of borders
and sharp corners

strawberries

holding strawberries in Italy