Face Recognition (Draft 2)

Face Recognition (April 24, 2013)

Blissfully, I thought,
we were walking
an innocent route
side-by-side down
Fraught Street

“Here, have some fruit,” she said.

I chewed on it, expecting
sweet attributes of seduction
but it was a hot pepper, and
my nose and eyes ran
my whole mouth hurt,
needed water or mouthwash
or a pain killer

“I see you have a cold, and
you should go to the free clinic
that Big Sister has provided —
isn’t the Big Care wonderful?”

She kicked me, and
I said yes somehow
not understanding.

How was that historical novel
you read last week
she wanted to know.

Somehow I said fine
though I was huffing,
looking for water
or mouthwash.

Oddly, she said
to give her my hand,
showed no concern
I could discern for
an agony of pain

She caressed it
with one hand
and tapped in my palm
with the other: a tap
a stoke pausing, taps

Was the novel interesting?

Huh what? But then
I realized she was
tapping in Morse Code:
it said, “Face Recognition
camera ahead. Your face
needs to be in pain.”

“Look,” she said,
“that building is on fire
and we must save the baby!”

My mouth hurt.

Trust me she had tapped, and
we ran into the burning building.

The building was full of
thick colored fog and the cameras
couldn’t see us, but oddly
we could breath normally, and
it didn’t seem like smoke

“Save the baby!”

We ran upstairs
lay down and had sex.

“You were wonderful:
you put out the fire
and saved the baby!”

There was no baby, and
the cameras didn’t recognize
my joy. Big Sister was
happy to see my pain.

— Douglas Gilbert


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