Presence Sensor

They watch you while you pee. And it’s not even
the NSA, or the
urination chaperone
from the county. Not even,
not technically, a gang of voyeuristic
perverts. Just an infrared
eye. A nation of infrared eyes,
thousands upon thousands of them
staring at you
unzipped.

A man astride his urinal knows
a primal intimacy. But no kidney,
no bladder
is an island. From above
the stainless steel plumbing fixture,
beyond the remote mass-produced glossiness
of cold porcelain, that vast fungible Duchamps
Dada exhibit that is, precise and pristine
in its sanitary ambitions, the American Standard
waste-land, the presence sensor
monitors you down to the very
geyser-nozzle, anticipating
your completion.

And when, with a squeeze and a shake,
you depart, there is a swish and a skidding slurp,
to prove
you were there.
The sound of the presence sensor
detecting your absence. Letting you know
you exist.

Terrence Provost

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