‘Tongue Untethered’ by Amanda Galvan Huynh

— Hannah Cohen

My Spanish stays until dawn quiets

Any poem that can weave in Selena lyrics is definitely a winner, and Amanda Galvan Huynh’s newest poem is a testament to the beautiful vowels and sounds found in language. Especially noticeably is the flow and repetition of the hard and soft c and s-like sounds: “casa, calle, coche— / until cities” is such a memorable line for this reason. ‘Tongue Untethered’ is more than its title—it is a celebration of “memories / half understood”. You can trace the speaker’s love for their heritage not only with its epigraph (after Melissa Lozada-Oliva, a powerhouse in her own right) but in its strong sense of place and moments. Here, you can find yourself in “the softness between las palabras” and never need a translation for that feeling.

The Shallow Ends