While thinking about images that affirmed my approach and philosophy as a diviner, I kept going back to Laila's work, and to the work of the other local artists I had met during URBAN X INDIGENOUS. Cece Carpio. Samantha Javier Curl. Monica Magtoto. Artists of color who are acknowledging, and drawing on, their lineages and ancestry--who are making artworks that are sites of visioning, resistance, healing, nurturance, resilience.
Impeccable Tongue (originally titled Ancient Tongue)
I was sitting at the kitchen table. On an old wooden chair facing the door. Through the screen door I saw my grandmother approach. She opened the door and walked into the kitchen. A monarch butterfly flying above her head followed her in. She said to me, “Open your mouth.”
I opened my mouth and stuck my tongue all the way out. At that moment the butterfly flew into my mouth and lay her wing onto my tongue. When her wing was on my tongue, I felt and heard a burning, sizzling sound as the lines and pattern of the wing scarified my tongue.