Even the birds have tongues.
I've seen hummingbird's, fine as a hair,
slip out to catch the nectar from the fuschia,
have seen fledgling woodpecker's tentatively taste
from the birdbell at my window.
Tongues sliding on saliva.
Healing water from our mouths,
healing water all were born with
Salvia salvation living water
humble, intimate, vibrant, vital.
Tomcat licking his wounds after a fight,
My mother licking her finger, rubbing the dirt off my nose...
Saliva, shining my lips and teeth,
cleaning my glasses, sucking my cut finger,
Christ's saliva on the blind man's eyes.
More humble than tears,
how did you come to be flung out
of the mouth of scorn?
Anne Higgins's Other Poems
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