It was the language that left us first. The Great Migration of words. When people spoke they punched each other in the mouth. There was no vocabulary for love. Women became masculine and could no longer give birth to warmth or a simple caress with their lips. Tongues were overweight from profanity and the taste of nastiness. It settled over cities like fog smothering everything in sight. My ears begged for camouflage and the chance to go to war. Everywhere was the decay of how we sound. Someone said it reminded them of the time Sonny Rollins disappeared. People spread stories of how the air would never be the same or forgive. It was the end of civilization and nowhere could one hear the first notes of A Love Supreme. It was as if John Coltrane had never been born.
Copyright © 2010 by E. Ethelbert Miller. Used with permission of the author.