Carbon Copy

Turns the fingers, hands of sloppy, floppy people smudgy.

Muck your hands around and blacken paper, shirt, cheek.

Handwashers of the world where were you during this process?

Oh no, Lady Macbeth, keep the magic going, spreading the good news like eager fire,

sending up the once was clean in smokey grays with sour notes.

The monks called it triplicate; it took them a lifetime.

Some needed successor illuminators to finish the task in cold, dark cubicles.

One for you, one for me, one to file. What the hell’d you say?

Pressure, damnit, pressure. It is never, ever enough,

like the effort to erase all the fuck-yous in the world.

Unless you have cramped your fingers, crippled your hand,

you have not been pressing hard enough. Harder. Go harder.

Damn, that’s what she said, so you reassemble those sheets.

Carefully. Drumroll. Retrace the letters. Carefully.

Press like you want to put your hand through the writing surface.

Like you’re trying to get to China by the shortest route.

Check those sheets again. Of course,

all those beneath the first read like faint echoes of the original,

your features compared to that fish with legs that crawled up on land.

Oh, for an easier way to make copies, to make them fast and clean.

That’s what we said back when we emerged from the primordial office work ooze.

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