she did not know the name of the earth she walked on she did not know the name of the sky she walked under did not know the name of the sun or the name of the moon did not know the name of the rain that fell on her body she did not know the name of her spirit she did not know her name or her mother’s name or her mother’s mothers’ names
                                             but when she cried out to the thunder whose name she did not know and when she cried out to the sky and the rain and the pink light of dawn whose names she did not know she ripped two languages out of her mouth both tongues aflame in her hands both tongues fluttering into a cloud of black ash around her
                                             when she made sounds that were not recognizable words and were not names when she made sounds created by the marrow in her bones and the light that fell out of her eyes when she spoke with her new tongue this third tongue still only a raw nub unable to shape sound
                                             when she cried out of need distilling longing into song the thunder answered the sun answered the moon and the sky the earth answered
                                             and then what she did not know did not matter not the names that had been lost not the names that had been taken abandoned names starved names disappeared names buried names no names
                                   what mattered was that her soul with its lost name had always
                                   lived in this third tongue what mattered was that not everything
                                   had been lost the world spoke in marrow and light light and
ire’ne lara silva is the author of two poetry collections, furia and Blood Sugar Canto, and a short story collection, flesh to bone, which won the Premio Aztlán. ire’ne is the recipient of a 2017 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant, the final recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, and the Fiction Finalist for AROHO’s 2013 Gift of Freedom Award. A new poetry collection, CUICACALLI/House of Song, is forthcoming in March 2019.

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