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Page 76

"Oh no!" cries Mom, seeing the small child's
blank gaze, knowing the child is about to soil
another diaper, the blankness a waiting, savoring
the slow complex bowel motion, enjoying
mysterious sensations as something slouches
toward Bethlehem to be born.

We have multiple machines, all of us,
some quick, some slow. Two criminals converse,
some communications (the safe ones)
getting across instantly ("he's threatening me";
"he fears me" -- it is safe to receive these,
because these are the safest assumptions to make),

others taking hours or years "(he's a person
like me"; "he once wanted to help someone").

The cop who politely "Sir'd" you, but
gave you a ticket anyway -- was it hours
or years later it dawned on him that you, too,
were a person and that maybe even he
is a person? How many generations did it take
for people to learn to hear a voice
on a piece of paper, silently read?

How many years to forget?

Note: Yeats' poem "The Second Coming" ends wondering what great beast now "...slouches toward Bethlehem to be born." Since Bethlehem is Hebrew for "house of bread", I suppose the beast in my metaphor slouches FROM Bethlehem to be born, since a child's tummy is sort of a half-way house for bread (though more likely for milk).


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