a leaky freshwater pump has my mind flooded with phantom springs, or; i mock my friends because i love them and even at 40 i still have love and pain confused

the woman on the phone
tells me that my call is
important. the woman
on the phone is a
robot. middling managers
make more money
when robots do the dirty
work of telling people to remain
on hold, remain on hold,
remain on hold,
your call is important. you
are important and we have
programmed this robot
to tell you, tell
you so, tell you
so. exasperated
and exhausted, both
caller and startling human
fielding the call, we all
ache for connection. touch
screen is electric, yes,
but it does nothing
to gently caress oxytocin
from our throbbing brain.
a robot tells me to
wait and a human tells me to
wait and my heart tells me to
hurry up and my friend,
my friend
who i am unsure if
we ever were
or ever are
friends, he was bullied
until his belly went red,
back when we congregated
our young bodies
in fecund pools of structured
learning. root ball’d bodies
intertwining and all that
pain! this man who
i feel so fond of
he hurts my impatient heart
with his growth
from bullied to bullying.
i’ve watched, vaguely,
only vacantly paying
any attention, as his
suffering hands have turned
to claw, his large and
beautiful hands. and how
they are muscled
in corded pain, and how
they snap and grasp
at others who
might have found undeserved
and kind luck
of less acute suffering,
and how,
robotically,
unthinkingly,
reflexively, he works
to arrest their flee
from entrapment.

the woman on the phone
is a robot and the human
in the cubicle is treated
just the same.
i have watched this
man’s hands turn to claw,
yes, and this reminds me to
wait on hold, my calling
is important, and he can
just as easily return
from claw to big,
beautiful, warm
and generous
and helping hand.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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