no outlaws, no frontiers: distilled dreams of ruddy ducks and stolen laptops

Outlets outlawed now left to hold the plug. Outlaws stripped of outlets now seeking power strips. Strip the sheathing, splice the wires: false positives abound, red lights across the board. Unplug, recede, fade to weathered wood. Where to get it when it’s gone, the juice, the power draw, to make every day a tinderbox. The ones who screamed and strummed to counter black water in their boots, rising to their necklines: they are now gone by their own hands. Even plugged in they couldn’t hack the mainframe for a pure and steady flow. Outside these walls, beyond the concrete circuit, maybe it’s there and maybe not: a circuit board of our own making. But what we know is here brings false power, interrupted flow: devices to distract, minds splayed across these screens, ground into lettered, numbered squares. I’m between out there and in here, taking ragged breaths, one foot in shadow soup, one hand tracing rote designs. I stare across the pond, power-stripped and faded, wondering about that duck.

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