We've met a few times, but always in passing;
in fact, I daresay you know most the population by passing.
One comes to you not as a guest or party-attender,
nor for just a talk or tea,
but as a hostage, or temporary ward.
It's hardly ever planned, of course--the coming and going.
Most people have to squeeze you in to their
wristwatches and schedules
with great urgency and unexpected detours.
Though in a larger sense, you are where
their lives both begin and end,
and everything they do in between those plotted points
are mere extracurricular activities.
Upon our last meeting, I was enlightened again
of your less-than-desirable interior.
Your servants took my blood,
they took my clothes,
and stuck me in a small, white room
that resembled too closely a prison cell.
Everything was sanitized and sterilized,
and made me feel uninvited and foreign.
No one says much of anything there, and "hmms"
from the superiors could mean any number of things,
and when I heard a noise like a crow
sitting on a power line, cawing its siren to the
surrounding sparrows, my thoughts swarmed.
Your walls are a torture chamber, I thought in that moment.
The siren wailed for at least an hour;
I have never met a bird with such ample lungs.
A glass door and a curtain separated me
from your other servants--I could see but their feet--
though for a long time none of them walked towards me,
and when they did, they insisted upon
taking my dignity on top of it all.
I tried to convince myself it was like my birthday all over again,
and it was over in a few moments. Afterwards,
they scribbled something on paper for me,
gave me my clothes back, and abruptly sent me
away from you, until our next unannounced affair.