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Crowded subway, rush hour,
we automatons boarded, pushing,
uncertain which platform or which train
we were on, presuming this one
was probably better than none.

We stopped at five stations and then
the announcement came through.
‘This train terminates at the next stop. 
Please prepare
to change your line.’

We studied each other’s faces
without enlightenment. The guard,
besieged by passengers
asking what was going on, explained
‘This is the Bookline train.’

‘Bookline?’ we asked. ‘Yes.
This line has run out of steam.’
He told us about the new Online. 
We knew they’d been building for years
and now we knew what.

‘Yes,’ the guard said,
patting a guy with a pad,
‘He’s got it.  Come on over.
Kindle a flame: no need
to book on the new line.”