Not mine.

I have pulled at

the language of my oppressors

Tread on it, kneaded it

leaving my footprints behind

my thumbprints pressed in

Imprints of myself

As I touch and touch and touch

The tongue of those who’ve hurt me

I’ve washed myself

in its wetness

in its coarseness,

in its slang.

Slept in its phonetics

slept with its consonants

kissed its vowels

Until we became one

until the language of my oppressors

remained no more

Until it became, the weapon of my emancipation.