Nine Dollars and Some Change

Fingers leap and stumble, in an attempt to play
the keys of a cream-colored keyboard
stained taupe with sweat and filth.

A modest white mouse, camouflaged with similar stains,
is chased across the desk top. It’s tail snakes
toward a dim glowing box.

Mouths move, forming silhouettes of meaningless
harmonies that intertwine with the hum
of artificial intelligence.

The mindless drones move together. Perfectly synchronized,
clicking tiny boxes on screens to sort letters
and numbers into designated spots.

36 chests rise and fall, turning oxygen to carbon dioxide
that hangs in the air. A chloroform
tiring eyes and slowing down movement.

The hum drones on. Accompanied by crickets
Sounding from vacant heads of workmen
in the space supposed to hold thought.

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