Daily Archives: March 9, 2018

New Slang

Swore off using new slang
some years ago as being
too much work for too little reward,

too much risk of ridicule, 
too much displacement
of beloved words

for words whose tenderness
I did not fully trust. 
Now I’m alone, 
silent in the dark;

nothing to say
that anyone 

seems to understand.

People my age
seem too stony to me, no longer
pliable or open to the moment.

People younger than I am
seem too stony to me, too ready
to catch me slipping.

People older than I am
seem too close to death for me,
resigned to waiting just a little while

before I’ll understand them,
but I do understand them. I do.
Lost enough people already

to have stopped being terrified
of how this journey ends
if not yet to have embraced the ending.

This fulcrum upon which I now sit,
moment of balance between
current and former selves,

moment in which
my darkening

and stiffening tongue

has been stung
by misuse, 
of its ability to change?

It’s finally a comfort.
I’m waiting to tip
from youth, slide 
into old age.

I am not in love with how I am,
but I am nonetheless alive.
I still have words. Still speaking,

even without a clear sense
of where I will be heard
or for how long.


Start reimagining 
that flag
is a door anytime
you see it 
upended. See it
as a locked door
with a code
to enter. 

Start picturing
an eagle
in tears, starving
because it’s exhausted
and cannot feed
with its wings up
and its talons full
like that for all
these years.

Start wondering
what’s under 
your Uncle Sam’s 
hat, why he
looks so pissed
as he points at you:
you thought you
were tight, after all
you’re family or
so you were told.

Start wondering
where that dollar bill
has been, where
they’ve all been. Start
thinking about them
in your pocket, your hand,
resting on your bare skin;
who paid for what with them
before they came to you.

Start imagining
how hard
you will have to kick
to take down that door.
Think about what might be on
the other side
until your foot
twitches without you
willing it.