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Tilde (~) 

you’ve been judged—

we declare you unfit
hovering away your existence

I knew I had seen you in a cloud
in my shadow
umbrella-ing my dog
the reason he chases himself around the yard

that’ll teach you
that’ll show you to be high and mighty

you are the abomination of the mustache
the Picasso of punctuation
the New Formalist of accentuation
you are where the line turns fowl

O, tilde
you no longer reign over our
in your wavy contempt

you no longer shroud the Spanish—

we have excommunicated you henceforth

you are the lowest of lows

accent the blue spitfire of Hades, thou
foul mite!

slosh and vessel the dribble of idiots
you fiend!

away from here you diacritical demon!

OUT we say!

and OUT! again!

you have inflected your last piñata
played your final Niño out

you are not the Portuguese or Estonian nasal
close-mid back rounded vowel
you are not the Vietnamese creaky voice

you are the bastard graph of an ocean wave
the rotten rollicking of earthquaked carpet
the lewd lapping of the termagant tongue

if we could put you to work you would shovel
our earth for all eternity
your hills would contain Sisyphus and his twin
forever ambling up and back on your foul spine

we are infinitely kind in our charge

swagger away past the furthest walls
your humps ho-humming infinitely further

turn never back, thou palendromian polyp

yes, we are banning you beyond the nasal G
infinitely beyond the contemplation of the variant A

superscript no more

sink for all we care

become, if you must
a cuttlefish
a flat-faced flounder’s wiggling brow

  • A poem by Jordan Reynolds.


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