Lost Time

My wake-up call was a request
for my password to enter the day,
following which
my rights were read concerning
the choices available for breakfast.
I forgot the PIN
for opening the door,
but remembered the number to call
for assistance, which led
to a long conversation with a recording
that knew my every question in advance.
The postman delivered a sack
containing requests for money
from candidates and volunteers
and institutions, every one
of whom insisted that the world would end
should I refuse them. I spent
the afternoon learning
my social security number by heart
and addressing envelopes
To Whom it May Concern
in hopes that somebody would know
how to log back in
to my life, and turned on the television
to watch the day’s news
but a voice announced This is only a test.
Then the power failed, the computer screen
light shrank to a dot,
and the credit cards wilted in my hand
when I was ready to pay any price
if I’d only have known
what it was I wanted back.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.