Appropriate Language

They took to our language and its archaicisms,
which no corporation had title to, and its imperatives,
which no church had recorded in its litany of curses,
and our slang no bureau had declared politically incorrect.
The verbosity of our questions (our superfluous “Do…?”)
amused their children, who thought us splendidly proper
in our diplomatic regalia, which permitted no air exchange
(lest our past-time pathogens infect them or theirs infect us).
Previously they relied upon a jigsaw of patois and pantomime
and idioms designed even more organically than their narcotics
to evade the pitfalls of licensing fees, jailtime, and damnation,
which recombined with the shrewdness of an immune response,
ingesting our fashionable phrasing as loan words and ritual shouts.
Our languages so commingled, we were declared honorary citizens,
endowed with the same privileges and subject to the same penalties.

—Andy Dibble