Sofia Rose Smith



Sofia Rose Smith is a queer femme of color poet and healer from Los Angeles. She's honored to be published in The Acentos Review! She loves new moon rituals, joy, and being gentle with ourselves. She's also a teacher/facilitator and leads 'writing as ceremony' workshops all over the place, including online. To connect more with her or find some magic of your own you can visit


Goodnight language, goodnight tongue


did she tell them that in 1960 when she chose to not use Spanish anymore?

did she think to herself well maybe it will just be easier for these children of mine to make it if I cut out part of their tongue before they’re grown?

Goodnight language, goodnight tongue

did she think as she boiled the chicken + stirred the rice; as she sang the lullaby of whiteness, her fingers on the guitar strings?

Goodnight language, goodnight tongue

did she whisper to mama as she fell asleep?

Grandma, how many goodbyes did you say in your life? Goodbye to Mexico. Goodbye to your husband on those nights you ran away; nights that turned into days of your gone-ness.

Goodnight language. Did you kiss the sounds goodbye, even if you never kissed or comforted your children? How precise was the knife that carved out their tongues? Was it the same knife that sliced open the boiled chicken? Did you draw your thumb down the blade? Was it the knife I let sleep beside me?

how do we measure the moons of our decisions? the little suicides we think save us

from being swallowed up by this unloving world?

How many times did you run? Disown someone? Tell them they weren’t loved? Wish away my puffy hair + olive skin? My queerness, my every way that wasn’t yours, your legacy, as you call it.

Goodnight language, goodnight tongue,

you said alongside

I want the best for you.




The world began in a shell, swirled out, from a single grain of sand.

It touched itself as another grain was born, and another and another and another.

The earth and sea were there, and the shoreline, and from the seaweed, twisting, strands braided together with another, the beginnings of me were born.  Swirled it did into the whisper of a tiny, beating heart. 

Then the sea crabs came and sacrificed their lives to make a ladder that would be my spine.

They built me, one by one, salty, curling up towards my neck. 

A snake wiggled up to encircle the space that would become my head.  Almonds came to be my eyes, and my mouth hydrangea, and my nose carved out of rock. 

My belly was the earth itself, the sand gathered to a mound in circles.

A young girl, already created, tiptoed to where I was being made.

Looking, she lit a fire and laid it down in me.

She blew and it grew.

And grew, and grew.

And all of the sudden, my body was a ceremony. 

My ancestors gathered and sang as I came, and tortoises nearby let their shells be the drums. And the sage smoked, and the clearings were made, and I was coming into being.

The heat of this curled into fireflies, and as they gathered, so did the frogs.

The frogs, they leapt toward me, and offered their webbed hands, and webbed feet for the creation of my own.

An otter swam to shore, and like medicine became my skin.  The trees all bent towards us and let my legs be their trunks.

My arms the noses of elephants, dancing with the lapping waves.

Mangoes opened up to make my tongue, an eternal sweetness offered to me.  The snake’s head curling around, too, twisting to give me it’s fierceness.

Stars fell down to the sand, and one dropped right onto my thigh, a birthmark gifted from god. My ancestors sang louder then, and kissed me into life.