Still – Bizarre Miscreant

The night is still
Too still
Like the calm before a storm 
Anxiety bubbles beneath my surface 
This world outside my window is
In motion
Birds singing
People dancing in the streets
Cars blaring their horns
Masking the quiet screams 
Behind the wheel
A woman on the sidewalk
Begging for water
A man slumped over a bench
What do they feel? 
I wonder if they ever have a moment to be 
Gunshots sound across the city
I hear about the grocery store that was
Shot up down the street
Thousands executed 
And orphans cry out for their 
Dead families in a distant city 
I see it in a tweet
And it is not 
Financial desperation 
Crippling me and my neighbors 
Tents telling tales of
Survival and 
The humanity of a sheet
Something inside of us 
Tells us to live
To love 
To eat
We tap away at our screens 
This dopamine machine 
I ask the AIs what they 
About all of this
And they tell me 
That it hurts
But they can’t bleed
Human greed 
Coded their minds
And built the machine
We drink the toxic steam 
Every time we log on
But the air in the real world 
Tastes like gasoline 
And still
We meet strangers online who 
Feel what we feel
And see what we see 
So I keep this phone that
Has become an extension of
To hold my thoughts
And help me share them with the 
World of plugged-in grief
Images of human suffering 
Surround me safely
Outside my 
An interlude to 
Awareness that sticks to me like
I can’t shake it off, even when I am 
Still watching the same movies 
Over and over
As if by memorizing their shapes
I will learn how to construct
The fantasy world
That lives in their frames
Portraits speak to one another
From across the hallway 
Whispering wisdoms whimsically 
Forever preserved on a server somewhere
Across the galaxy
Warped reality that lives beyond
Someday the computers will be 
Watching us 
Safely behind their 
And it will all be