10 April 2012

Ecologies of Scale


I'm staring at the chrome steel bar,
the one over-head on the subway?
You know,
the one you use to keep from flying into the poor bastard in front of you.

Anyway,
I'm staring at the bar where it forms a cross,
lost in my imagination,
avoiding eye contact with anyone.

I wonder for the nth time:
How many species of germs are on that bar?
How many species did I make mine when I touched it?
How many species on that bar are my own, transplanted?

Do any of these words apply to my new hitch-hikers:
Pestilent
Contagious
Virulent
Infectious
Antibiotic Resistant
Fatal?
A disquieting train of thought.

Do they form germatic tribes?
Staphylococcal working groups?
Amoebic armies cutting wide swaths of destruction
thinner than a human hair?
Are there microscopic civilizations awaiting the Coming of the Hand?

My imagination has been known to run wild at times,
hopefully it runs wilder than anything living on that bar,
or that bar over there which I gripped a few minutes ago.
It's easy to become concerned about this undocumented biological trade.

But I'm on these damn trains every day,
and I haven't died yet.
I retreat to a different space in my imagination,
avoiding eye contact with anyone.
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