A Language of Dissent

Holly Day

It has become imperative to create a new language
that our overlords won’t understand, something beyond
teen slang or street jive, something not so much catchy pop culture
but a lexicon suited for concise planning and destruction.
These words must make their way into newspapers
leaflets nailed to telephone poles, flashed at the bottom of television ads
incorporated into 1-800 numbers.
There is power in words, just ask
the construction workers stumbling away from the Tower of Babel
unable to finish their work because their language was taken away.
A total disconnect from the ruling class must be instigated
and quickly, before they learn what we’re doing
before they grab our words and put them in their pop songs
their car commercials, their runway fashion shows.
This all has to be kept separate.
Perhaps it begins with messages strapped to the legs of pigeons
flown from one rooftop to the next, palmed from one hand to another
in train stations and bus depots, untraceable notes
folded into the shapes of footballs and flung across a classroom
an office, a courtroom. It can all start with one word
something that translates to “freedom,” or “murder,” or both.

Holly Day‘s writing has recently appeared in Analog SF, The Hong Kong Review, and Appalachian Journal, and her hobbies include kicking and screaming at vending machines.


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