In Poems

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It’s all gone
banking, dating,
work powwows, board meetings.
Zoom is the new mall, the Orange Julius of our
teenage years.

Then suddenly each Purell anointment
washes up ancient memory.
Digital is our oldest and inescapable
platform. Long before Palm Pilots (remember those?),
our palms piloted our days.
We are digital beings, ten-fold. To have and to hold
our deepest vow.

Yet now our touchstones, our touch points—all danger zones.
Doorknobs, key fobs, grocery carts, body parts,
even this Bic pen.
The to-go bag from Taco Boy, the matchbook my fingers fumble with
to light a Love Heals candle.
The coffee mug, handmade by a North Carolina potter,
my greyhound’s grubby red leash, not to mention
his warm, loaded doggie bag.
My bike handlebars, the car door, the iPhone—recently upgraded,
the electric toothbrush, my daughter’s hand.

I long to touch this world, to feel its cotton and silk,
the warmth of spring’s eager soil, the gray grit of low-tide sand.
The need as eternal as the risk.
Our palms have long been dirty and worn, our digits
dancing carefree across keyboards and touch screens.

Beware the surface, for she often betrays.
We wash, we wipe down, we pull up curbside for takeout,
from everything but fear.
Locked down in virtual corners, we wonder,
how to handle it all?