Cathy Park Hong

1976 / Los Angeles, California, United States

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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