I lick the thick skin of my palm with a girl’s tongue.


Senior Member
This is from “The Gathering” by Anne Enright.
(Chapter 22, in my copy it is page 146)

The heroine of the novel accidentally caught an old rake and her brother in a delicate situation. She was shocked and many years since describing this episode... "I pause as I write this, and place my own hand over my face and lick the thick skin of my palm with a girl's tongue. I inhale. The odd comforts of the flesh. Of being me."

What is "a girl’s tongue"? Does it mean that she feels as she did (being a school girl) right after witnessing the scene? That she feels a school girl again?
  • Lis48

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes, she is re-enacting the scene in her mind so her tongue is the tongue of the young 8 year old schoolgirl that she was when watching her brother excite Nugent.
    At least, that is how I understood it, when I read the book a few weeks ago.
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