We can’t be threadbare

We can’t be threadbare anymore—
the very word has almost been forgotten.
Long before the warp dissolves
the blouse hits the trash.
Huffily rejected even by the discarded people who shuffle by into service centers.
Seamstresses snap up the good parts for their quilts and coverlets.
These days we wear classy T-shirts even to our summer outings
where we steer the conversation past shoals of shrouded disapprovals.
The sheer gowns at our family festivities repel adhesive cousins’ words.
We don designer jackets to stand on street corners and shred friendships on mobile apps.
On the job too, we exercise our relationships till they thin down to skeletons.
Which is good for us, as we change jobs every six months.
Sometimes accessories are necessary.
Noise-canceling headphones,
neutering any cross-polinization promised by those who designed our unwalled workplaces,
and who did not consult with us before designing our unwalled workplaces.

I have withdrawn as far as possible,
into a chair in the living room of my home,
where my interactions are boxed into 100,000 pixels in precise half-hour slices.
So I am reaching out now to you
with the only reality I can muster,
with this poem.

Andy Oram
June 28, 2018

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