In America, all the TV’s are on,
rippling through living rooms
and laundromats, hospitals and bars,
communicating, always communicating,
lighting up windows with a flickering blue.
Tonight it’s wolves arguing
over who wears the best disguise,
whose voice can sound the most human,
when most ears couldn’t tell the difference.
Radio waves permeate the air,
travel through our bodies
carrying information most bodies
would prefer to live without,
like the code that operates a garage door,
and a text message from Billy Jean
admitting that the kid is not his son,
while we walk through a virtual alphabet soup
of invisible zeroes and ones,
a matrix before The Matrix ever bent its spoons.
The microwaves buzz and set off fireworks
that inflate paper bags
with that warm artificial butter smell
like old socks left on a dash,
while surfers ride barrel waves
off the coast of Australia,
dodging dorsal fins and shark teeth
and toddlers wave at parents
holding their cell phones over their eyes
just before they spill down playground slides.
The universe is quixotic in its ambivalence
to life, waving at us over a billion years ago,
two black holes, a binaural convergence
sinking like a stone into a pond
the size of everything,
sending out ripples of displacement
across that lifeless divide
it would take a billion years to notice,
even though someone last century
told us they were there.