Sunday, December 4, 2016

Engines Within the Throne by Cathy Park Hong


Engines Within the Throne

We once worked as clerks
          scanning moth-balled pages 
into the clouds, all memories 
outsourced except the fuzzy
          childhood bits when  

I was an undersized girl with a tic, 
they numbed me with botox
          I was a skinsuit 
of dumb expression, just fingerprints 
over my shamed

           all I wanted was snow 
to snuff the sun blades to shadow spokes, 
muffle the drum of freeways, erase
          the old realism  

but this smart snow erases
          nothing, seeps everywhere, 
the search engine is inside us, 
the world is our display

           and now every industry 
has dumped whole cubicles, desktops, 
fax machines into developing
          worlds where they stack 
them as walls against  

what disputed territory
          we asked the old spy who drank 
with Russians to gather information 
the old-fashioned way,  

now we have snow sensors,
          so you can go spelunking 
in anyone’s mind, 
let me borrow your child  

thoughts, it’s benign surveillance,
          I can burrow inside, find a cave 
pool with rock-colored flounder, 
and find you, half-transparent 
with depression.

 

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