• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10

Safe Zone

No one knew who did it and how.
It happened just after all the surveillance cameras
broke down during the night.
System failures gave birth to an inverted pyramid of cars
on the tree stump, tall enough to be a monument.

Kids would ask what it was,
as they had never seen cars on the street before,
old folks would talk about how it felt
to drive through cities, the meeting and parting
of things while seated on wheels.

At the beginning, people praised the Safe Zone.
For kids, no school shootings or dangers;
they learned from their homes through screens,
cameras in their homes validated attendance,
for grown-ups, remote work freed them from
the stress of commuting. Everything seemed easy.

Once connected, connection became everything;
it was proof, truth, your intention,
life in the Safe Zone, your walk, face, body
temperature, even the faintest cough was analyzed.
No worries, they’d come, before you could reach for a handkerchief.

All was within walking distance,
each month they evaluated and selected
who could travel, where to go,
after all, what’s the use of wondering,
they knew your needs before you did.


Safe Zone

Some called it art, others a sign of resistance,
a reminder of the good old days of roaming
on wheels. Gazing up at the cars,
an elderly woman told a young girl that
the essence of travel lay in getting lost, lost in nowhere,
but the girl knew nothing about getting lost,
lost in nowhere.