At the Notions Counter

       Maureen Kingston
"Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." Daniel 5:27 (a.k.a., The Old Code)

Big Data rules--is the newest ruler--and we are all data subjects, pawns of omniscient algorithms. Night and day the overlords surveille our bad habits, test our brand loyalty. No purchase may go unregistered, no sin may be forgotten. Even justice has become a matter for the bots: catch and release or a stoning by blockchain? Their choice.

I fight back by weaning myself from tracking cache, by migrating back to cash. It's a stop-gap. I know what's coming: the confiscation of paper money, the onslaught of crypto-currency--company scrip for the company store.

I hand the checkout clerk a twenty-dollar bill, sense a mutinous tension as the money rag passes from my hand to hers. Our fingers brush, make contact, speak a dying language. For an instant we rebel, cheat the scanner's prying eye, defy measurement by the new slave code.

Maureen Kingston's

poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Blue Earth Review, B O D Y, Emerge Literary Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Gargoyle, Gone Lawn, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Maudlin House,, Red Paint Hill, Stoneboat, and Yellow Chair Review. A few of her poems and prose pieces have also been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart awards.

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