Panoptican

by Ruth Ainsworth

 

I sit, watched,

Can I work faster, harder?

Until my every moment,

Every thought,

Every breath

Is this work.

Over and over;

The same sameness.

 

I walk, watched,

Not for too long,

Though my knees pop

When I stand

And my limbs scream;

Aching, cramped.

A too short walk,

And vertigo.

 

I sleep, watched,

Claustrophobic,

Even in dreams, watched,

Crisp, cool autumn air,

I can smell, taste,

Fresh and clean,

But when I breathe

Hot, heavy, stinking.

 

Released, crushed.

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