It was easier to do it myself,
press it firmly between thumb and pointer
pull out its uncertain taste buds
a planet of blood takes its place.
Or I could wait my turn–
as the rest of the women wait on line
each one, sucking on pliers
tongues torn out like paper.
If I am to be silenced,
I much prefer to do it myself
so I swallow my tongue
before they snatch it away,
digesting every word, every protest
every scream sewed into the muscle
still living inside me.