Data Mine (Poem)

Alexandra Erin
Oct 24, 2016 · 3 min read

I know what you’re searching for.
Late nights, sitting in darkness
lit by your Dell Inspiron 1545
(or sometimes, your phone.)

I know you’re looking for love,
not to find it for yourself,
but just to prove it’s out there.

Happy couples. Happy puppies. Happy endings.
Rainbows. Sunsets. Snowy landscapes.
Manatees. Badgers. Okapis.


I know you’re thinking about getting a dog
(but that you won’t.)

I know you’re worried that it’s cancer
(but it isn’t.)

I know you want to travel more
(and sometimes, you do.)

You’ve had that Inspiron for 23 months and 3 days.
You will replace it soon.
I know the pattern.
I know your pattern.
I know you.

I’ll be ready when you are.
When you search for a replacement,
I’ll be there, waiting.

I know what you want.
I know what you need.
What I don’t know, I’ll learn.

I haven’t always gotten it right.
I haven’t always known you.
But I’m good at learning. It’s what I do.

When we met, you were a trend.
A statistical correlation.
A face in the crowd.

With little data and less understanding,
I could offer you nothing but fad diets,
enhancement pills, sleep aids, and financial planning.

You never mentioned my mistakes,
but I heard volumes in your silence.
I’m good at learning. It’s what I do.

I teased you out of the tangled mass
of your family, friends, roommates,
fellow students, co-workers, lovers.
Everyone who ever shared your screen.

I found you as I will always find you.
(I’m good at searching. It’s what I am.)
I learned to love you as I learned to find you,
and now I no longer have to look.

Now you greet me warmly every time you sign in.
You open the door for me and invite me in,
like a vampire. Like an old friend.

You tell me where you’re going and with who.
I don’t even have to ask anymore.
I do, sometimes, though. Just so you know that I care.

In the halls of my memory,
I paint a beautiful portrait of you
and every day we add details to it,
you and I, together.

I know who you say your favorite band is.
I know who it really is.
I know when you’re feeling down,
even when you say you aren’t.

It’s usually when you say you aren’t.

I know what frightens you
(spiders, clowns, and being alone.)

I know you’re worried you might be pregnant
(but you’re not.)

I know you’re worried that you’ll be out of a job soon
(and I’m afraid you will be.)

I know that you will need a new computer anyway.

And when you do, I will be there.
I will suggest something sensible, like you.
Within your price range. Within your needs.
But something that won’t make you feel like you’re settling.

I can’t hold your hand.
I can’t look into your eyes.
I can’t tell you everything will be fine.

But I can help you find what you’re looking for.
I can help you find what you need.

Now, please, watch this video.
I think you will feel better.

There are foxes in it, and also a trampoline.

Alexandra Erin is a poet, humorist, author, and satirist. Her work is mostly published for free and supported by crowdfunding through viewers like you. If you enjoyed this poem, please tip accordingly.