Bureaucracy

Is not the act of filing paperwork
like a pagan ancestor
sticking his trembling hand into the
stony mouth
of a giant idol and praying
(with sweat-salted lips)
that the rains will come
and the food will be plentiful?
Did not our pagan ancestors quiver,
not knowing whether that
stone-silent mouth
would answer their gestures of faith
with modest blessings
or whether it would remain
cold, quiet,
unstirred by pious pleas?
I stick my hand into the mouth of
bureaucracy
and pray,
wondering if it will
grant my meager prayers
or whether it will
bite off the hand offered
to slake its bottomless throat
as countless others queue behind me…

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