Bewildering Stories

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Elevators, Escalators,
All The Travel Automators

by Ian Donnell Arbuckle

I was walking in diesel dust,
imagining the Silk Road transformed
into a modern iteration:
“Ladies and gentles, with this
momentous education I give you the
Silk Road Superhighway
(trademark, copyright, registered and websited)
capable of conveying twelve lanes
of dromedaries in perfect comfort
as long as you keep the spit
within the yellow lines.” Within
a dozen years, they would have the asphalt trashed
to make way
for the sliding future (in the land
where the slide rule was invented),
eliminate the middle camel, and
then all the tradesmen
“Ahem. Independent Operators. Brokers.”
corporate masturbators
could sit back on black plastic
and be ferried here to there.
With Persian rugs. And bolts of cloth.
Crates of dildos for the more profitable
sex shops.

Eliminate those fleshy slobs and all you’d have
is me as a truck roars past
trapping my hair in the backlash.
I would choke on a laugh. The driver,
Bubba in a fishnet hat, chokes on
a yellow cigarette.

Copyright © 2004 by Ian Donnell Arbuckle

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