beep

the command I typed
had a space
where it should not have been
a message was supposed
to pop up
on my mate’s monitor
it said
“om mani padme hum”
just for something to type
given our conversations
about Buddhism

we sat in a long row
modern day scribes
at computers
the room had dozens of rows
and the message
did arrive
“beep!”
it went

but then the first row
all beeped too
then the second
and so on
sweeping down the room
an electronic wave
of punishment beepings

apparently it went on
to nearly five thousand machines
across the whole company
on multiple sites
around the country

I had changed the message
at the last moment
from
“shave my back
and call me Edna!”

I didn’t get sacked
but man
I thought I was having
a heart attack

clickery tappery
is no way
to earn a living

"row of monitors"