Obsolescent

Bending over like this to get my hands empty
Rummaging through the white trashcans out back
Of the Patent Office I find a kind of peace
Here in this warm-lit alley where no one comes.

Even the rats too they know that nothing new
Is going to get pitched out now--no formula,
Not one blueprint will ever be found in these
Bright bins whose futures are huge, pristine.

Old alleymouth grabbags my attention at times
I see the world flash by out there, glow-glow as
The floors of decontamination chambers-

I go back to my dull, boring search, foraging
For the feel it gives me of the thing which has
Invented me: that void whose sole idea I was.

by Bill Knott

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