My soul, once slippery as an seal,
that eased as easily as an eel
to heaven and back, a wave worn path,
like slippy-sliding in the bath,
has grown rough ridges that jerk me back
into the mosh pit with the pack.
We flail with elbows, boot tips, knees—
all of us caught within the squeeze
of what we hate and knock against,
beat fist and teeth and cock against.
It’s like a cageless, viral zoo,
this rough world we’ve evolved into.
The whole world’s in each other’s viewing,
killing, ripping, tearing, chewing.
We touch the keys to tear asunder,
ravage, rape, ransack and plunder.
These same hands that could stroke the keys,
pound and punish, grab and seize.
We Tweet or Snapchat, Facebook, Skype,
barely touching as we type.
We are so constantly in touch
that we do not consider much
that in our constant online dealing,
we should give more thought to feeling.
We cannot feel a handshake’s squeezing,
warm and tender, pressured, pleasing,
when we’re too far away to touch.
We cannot feel so very much.
We feel with organs meant for thinking,
and make connections without linking.
Those of us who predate the text
tend to fear what’s coming next.
A simple touch could end the world—
all of us pulverized and hurled
into a place where nothing lingers.
No tongue, no lips, no questing fingers.