2 March 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 1
Tongue in Cheek
She is captivated by tongues,
her own as well as others.
In the mirror, she scrutinizes
its relief-map underbelly
ridged in red and blue,
neatly seamed down the middle.
Sundays, she watches the minister's
pink one skitter his lips,
snaking out like Satan's tail,
licks of fire straight from Hell,
but always, once he's stirred
himself up to Sin,
flicking spittle in the air
like a Mace broadcasting incense—
at sermon's close, its discreet
at sweat beads on his upper lip.
She owns two snakes, a monitor
lizard and a Venus flytrap,
disappointingly with no tongue to thrust
through its vicious whiskered maw.
A likeness of the giant anteater's
unfurled sticky worm
of tongue is tacked
just above her pillow.
Schlotsky's Deli makes her giddy—
huge tongues hung by salamis,
red tips curled as if caught in mid-moo.
She envies pierced ones, but fears
she'd lisp like her brother whose
flops out with every "T" and "S"
like Shamu at Sea World.
is most beguiling of all—
as it does a slow dance
from between his lips,
puce and juicy.
She licks her own, in response,
says something, but really nothing
at once flushed and chilled
as he continues his tango—
Wanna go to the movies? he asks.
M'God, I just talked in "tongues!" she cries.
Yeah, I know, he smiles, the tip
of his still teasing,
Well, yes or no!
Can't 'til I'm fifteen, she mumbles;
Wanna see my Venus
About the author:
Judy Stainer has previously worked as an Assistant Editor of several racy magazines in New York, a school teacher, and a stay-at-home-mom. Her poems appear in Whistling Shade, Reading Divas, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Laurels, Streetplay, Poet-in-Tents Literary Journal, and Moods of the Vineyard, as Second Prize Winner. She can be reached at .