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tongue tied

Jahiem Jones


i often find myself in spaces where i must speak professional
“naive boy” they say
“you talk so elegantly, pristine for a black man”
i forget short simple phrases like “tldr” or “smh”
code word for code switching
forget words like “soliloquy” or “exacerbate”
code word for oral


dictionary got your tongue?
i’m reminded by friends to switch
code word for slang


toggle like on and off switches
it’s hard to remember that ebonics and my grandmothers slurred voice are different
what my exquisite mouth can now level down to “mote control”


my mind can now interpret “ambilance” as paramedics
my tongue can now be considered residual
often categorized as savant, more so show off
can now predict any score on a vocabulary quiz
a walking thesaurus


to jot
in my own language


my only way to show my friends that i still can code switch
that my usage of emoticons are a must
my text is emotionless without proper display of affection


my mouth, grabbed,
fazed and not appreciated in proper respect
i forget what it’s like to talk normal again
my tongue
cut off,
and replaced

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