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Portraits of the Future

November 2020, no. 426

Portraits of the Future

November 2020, no. 426

Look, said the sonographer, your sister says hello!
A black photo
where the future rival sucks a thumb-to-be.
Never in all history
was such a portent visible
without a guiding star.

Algorithms tinker at the corners of my life.
One tells me what I need to know.
One tells me what I want.
No, I say, not furniture, not the nearest death.
I sense that they are holding back.
Turn around, slowly: I want to see your hands.

Once I slept in a caravan
and heard the breathing ocean.
Dreams were the province of a dandelion curtain.
Now come the frail parasols,
drifting on a screen;
now come the waves,
rolling my hearing into guttural caves.
I have opened
the case for convenient sleep.
The child I was listens,
laughs and weeps.

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