Auto-complete

 

You type “Is it possible to—”
And the search engine suggests
“Die of a broken heart?”
You shake your head, amused.
“Swallow your tongue?”
You roll your eyes.
“Go back in time?”
Hmm, now that you mention it . . .
“Levitate?”
“Grow taller?”
“Get pregnant from kissing?”
“Get rid of cellulite?”
“Live forever?”
After a while, instead of exasperation
you feel a sudden solidarity
with information seekers of all ages
as well as across the ages:
Is something bothering you?
Are you itching with your question?
Ask your mom or dad.
Ask Aristotle or the nearest oracle.
Ask the village wise man or shaman.
Check with your friends, the street-smart ones.
Read the manual.
Ask the disembodied pieces of software
with their algorithms juggling performance,
profit, and privacy like a tired librarian
in a sun-abandoned nook.
At any rate it’s good that we’re an asking
species; it means we crave completion

 

[April 2012]

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