Two Poems by Austin Allen

Dark Glass

They used to call it “No Such Agency.”
These days the mystery rises in plain sight.
The two main buildings, 2A and 2B,

are copper-shielded, black, sleek in the light—
2A’s been called “a dark glass Rubik’s Cube.”
The rooms inside receive the whole world’s chatter:
my chirping phone, a buzzing border fence,

a whispering diplomat or babbling rube
in any town, at any time, might matter.

All must be sorted. Records, photos, files—
a billion treasures for the ultimate hoarder’s
shrine—flow every second from Headquarters
out to a hall of servers in the West.
In Utah. Where else? Somehow it makes sense:
the alien landscape, hidden veins of ore,
gold tablets of encoded Mormon lore—
it’s all connected. Deep in Utah, miles
from any town, walled off from any seeker,
a server holds me in its gleaming pod.
It sees my mind as clear as God sees God.
Into that hall my life will be compressed

till all’s revealed by some crusading leaker . . .
That fear, that hope, could launch a thousand churches.
Deep in the Western desert I am known.
All through my fervent writings, furtive searches
I know the silence lies. I’m not alone.

Epitaphs for All the Dead

Out of Circulation

Came to Pass

Never Outran the Cheetah or Broke the Hummingbird’s Record
for Wingbeats Per Second

Back in Circulation

R.I.P. Blank / Born Blank / Died Blank

Occurred to Earth

Departed This Vale of Tears, Orgasms, and Hangnails

Were Not Much More Than a Blur