The Word You Should Never Say

a poem by David Starkey
Are you bigger than a bread box?
Are you blunter than a drunk German?
Are you more likely to be spoken
after consumption of a gin fizz?
Has Sylvia Plath mentioned you
in a poem of 1962?
On balance, are you more barren
or totemic?
Are you featured
in children's rhymes no longer
chanted on the playground
after school?
What chemicals
were used in your embalming?
Are you closer to the color
of afterbirth, or of sunshine
sparkling on a mountain pond?
Did the murder of crows cawing
in the oak tree this morning 
rasp a version of your name?