Sunday Poem

Your Data is Political

Your presence rises from scavenging: pages and words
and webs and signs. You’ve become a target but without
the old spy store gadgets. I’d like to know what you know,
not just your count. I click on you, then you click back,
precious darling surface. We add, poke, text.
On my iPhone, you’re called The Outlier.
Your profile pic of a yellow vase
is so allusory, so art, or your skirt flips up and you’re viral,
or someone else outs you as the double-crossing wife
because it’s the Old West open season on Facebook.
Pages ripple with alacrity, with betrayal and Outlook keeps
the other engine purring and sneaky. Two presences.
The real and the fable vanish before you and to them
within barcode, a cornucopia of insight
(a family’s fleecing, caravans of product, blurry pirated video).
I’ll play Sarah McLachlin over your visage, elegiac, or someone
will paste your face onto the porno performance artist
baptized with secretion. I’ll be the cultural anxiety,
and you can be the Luddite. We’ll be the perfect pairing
of antediluvian (the wine) and digital (the host).

by Carmen Gimenez Smith
Milk & Filth
University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2013