by Richard Dinges, Jr.

My house is wired
to the outside world
through phone lines,
cable, electricity,
buffered by surge
protectors and on/
off switches, answering
machines and boxes,
every word scanned
and indexed.
Check TV listings and
see no surprises.
Skip the news
that always tries
to sneak in something
new, bright colored
graphics of events,
recycled history.
Shades drawn because
you never know what
might drive by.
Still the door bell
chimes beyond control.
Only to peek through
a hole into a bubbled
strange face that won't
turn away until
after the long silence
when all stills down
into the tick of the clock
running on the line
I can't turn off.

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