first language (NPM2017 # 7)


one dreams in first language

it is the language of prayer

first language is where your

soul lives

where home is

when it’s raining

fire it’s where we land

after falling through

the ground we grow from

the cathedral that holds

the narrative of being

the song sung by the

world to you in the womb

there will always be things

that can only be said in

first language

like how deep the cut

how far the fall

how high dreams float above

rude reality sometimes

only a paint can can own

the truth

maybe you can find it in a pastel

drug across smooth black paper

extract it with ink from

well balanced pens

scribbled in the margins of


some forge it in

bronze or cast in it iron so

it reaches for the sky

or cover the side of a building

that covered the sun

after eating the trees

or sing it over a beat

older than the need to sing

or spit it to a crowd

over a new beat

you got to learn to dance to

maybe syncopate it drop it on

the one make

them want to see the

instrument cause theirs don’t make that

sound dance it elegantly stretching it

over centuries of pain

bending like trees

after being hit by waves

speak the language

god spoke to you in before

you were formed

prayerfully in all of you

like blessing

like reason

like answers to the question

why we will find you

in your first language bent

before its altar making sacrifice

living the religion of it

living in its sublimity

seeing the world through it

first language is

the language

we were

dreamed in the language

of our light

our redemption


the way we talk

to god




image: street art by Banksy