They tell the story wrong. We were meant to be swans
spiders, peacocks, vixens, snakes. We shifted
one to the other to the other, weavers
of silk and story slipping free of every loom, fluid
under Soma's tidal gaze.
They didn't know we spoke (howls, chitters,
foreign gabble) till they trapped us
in nettles, shaped us with pain,
bound our tongues and tales and called us
This isn't my story. My mother lost her mother's words,
my nettle-stung tongue lost hers. I speak
as they taught me, and I (ripped
their shirt off years ago) scratch bloody welts
that bind my shape.
They stripped our feathers, broke our jaws
on their unrounded words,
left us (wingless) to mumble
stumble cringe in Engliss only, stole
our tales to study.
We own only our silences, now; but snakes
sting back. We'll crush their tongue
in our coils, swallow whole
and use their words to say
they tell the story wrong.