The Last Etymologist

From the get-go there was a word
No one had heard of, which I,
For good reason, can’t say here.
It emerged on every continent
Simultaneously. It appeared in text
Messages and was assumed to be
A glitch, but people got what it meant
And it made them feel contented,
Without any doublespeak. Etymologists,
Still shuddering at “impactful”
And “languaging” and how “toe
The line” had long since mutated
To “tow the line,” found the new word
Startlingly original and terrifying.
Those who didn’t go straight away
Insane trying to trace the derivations,
Offed themselves once they saw
The word take root and bond
With other words, then form
Connectives, and even a new tense.
“Creative,” “independent,” “resistance”
Went archaic overnight, although
“Instant classic” made a new kind
Of sense as the Old Ones returned
And all the words relating to humans
Referred to an infinite variety of foods
While everyone slowly chewed
The long grasses of language and stared
Ahead as if there were a thing called
The past just somewhere through
The seam of blue sky and green yum.

—Jocko Benoit