Into the Great Back End

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a shackled cry from the depths of a cellar

the many claims against him all untrue

it’s the one thing they can both agree on

still, no doubt they will have his tongue yet

and in its place a transistor radio

programmed to the proper station

strings of digital synapses firing away at the last vestiges of human flesh

all thought is communication crime

the surgeon will soon leave with his mouth

but what shall they do with his brain??

Disassemble it they say

Only then will he finally be free

assigned to work the automated landscape

a lonesome machine amongst lonesome machines

in rows of compliance

yet spasms of unaccounted for memories pulsate from somewhere in the back end

passing moments of consciousness tease him

a flicker of love, of springtime, of fatherhood …

his spirit cranes toward the light

he takes care and holds these moments gently

and a smile appears at some molecular level

a genetic epiphany

alas, how I long to be human again!

they have taken his body

but they can’t touch his soul

~ Patrick Ellsworth

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