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.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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