Driver-less Cars

I sit behind you at the stoplight, and I know you.

The light turns green, but your head bows toward your lap

in prayer to the god known as the cell phone, you a prisoner of selfishness.

I sit behind you trying my best to be courteous and understanding.

Time marches on, and you are engrossed in your phone

like a yogi contemplating some bottomless navel.

I wait behind you, my hand now hovering over the horn,

marvel how your phone mesmerizes you, blinding you to the world around you.

No one behind me has, so now I sound the horn, blow it for you,

light taps, two or three times to rouse you gently from your meditation.

But your phone has you in thrall, enslaves you to a trafficless world.

That conversation, or game, or video subsumes your moral obligation

to drive responsibly, as though other people’s lives depended on it.

So now I lay on the horn, long and forcefully,

sound the call of some doomsday trumpet for your broken contract with us.

Your head pops up, your telephonic aves aborted,

and you drive off oblivious as the light turns red.

And I open up, now fully embrace the idea of a driverless car,

would rather risk my life against a logic-driven algorithm

than against you who may care nothing about the lives of others

and might drive so stupidly that you kill someone.

I know you all, and I’m saddened by your seeming disregard for the lives of others.

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