Engines Within the Throne

Cathy Park Hong

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.
From Engine Empire: Poems by Cathy Park Hong. Copyright © 2012 by Cathy Park Hong. Reprinted with permission of W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Ontology of Chang and Eng, the Original Siamese Twins by Cathy Park Hong
Chang spoke / Eng paused.
The Hula Hooperís Taunt by Cathy Park Hong
Iímma a two-ton spiker † hips fast rondeau
Year of the Amateur by Cathy Park Hong
Recall the frontier when the business

Further Reading

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