The Salt of My Tongue

by Sergio A. Ortiz

I’ve known you since stagnant water.
Now, I’ll have to seek
refuge in other eyes.
I am the valve you wear down.

Your body and my body
speak the love they occupy,
the love that restores us unabridged
to what we are.

We will travel
with open skin, without calm,
blind, pointing the way to the rotten,
the ones who still long to live.

I will always dig you out, my bone,
my ghost under the pillow, among men
kissing under poplars.

I’ll be there, chased. A bat flaps
in each of my wrists, then you’ll know
we’ll never be so hidden we forget each other.


Sergio A. Ortiz is a gay Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have been published in hundreds of journals and anthologies. He is currently working on his first full length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

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