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A blackout occurs and then we return to routine:
The inhumane blather on the screen.
The light glares in, illuminating each shadow.
“Do you feel it?” “Those sad mysteries?”
The bells are ringing, indicating
An original longing has been transformed
Into a pitch too high to hear.
Now an unsettling magician’s girl comes on stage
And plays herself. It is all very “upsetting”—
In Freudian terms. This vague echo
Of something unnamed.
This ruefully apocalyptic drama
Where the I is thrust into the Darwinian claw.
And now a bird, overheard, realizes its dream of flying.
Beneath it, the bridge, a passage
From contemplation hidden in a classic
“Love me?” Yes, he loves her. Lastly,
There is the redemptive conceit
That links the transfiguration journey
With this pomp, this sequence, this wedding
Of the eyes with their lens of miraculous glass.
The eyes that see the gesturing hand, an emphatic “Hey,
Teacher, leave those kids alone.”
The crowd shouts the lyrics back to the band.
And now, someone is saying, It’s amazing
That an Australian platypus is now a curio
On a shelf in a cabinet in a palace in Poland.
All the while, you’re wondering
About the man on the curb who waved at you.
As if he knew you.
As if you have been everywhere. As if you are existence.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.