les enfants des francophones
To never have had a language the way that mating birds do. Sounds made bring no worms. In an old apartment speaking a new French, a tango of English against genre and par contre and mettons que. The French of an older generation, of our grandfathers on the beach at Dieppe, now a French distilled to ordering fries and thanking the bus driver. Tongues sore from contorting into stranger sounds, É and Euh and U, like ew, like disgust at the way we project. But we aren’t gone yet. We are in the schools and the movie theatres and the highways to Kingston. We hear a song on the radio and say I can understand French but I cannot speak it, I forgot it somewhere between my parents and my country. If dying is an art we are all masters of our craft, death is slipping out from our teeth as we order fries, as we thank the bus driver.