A knock at the door: it’s the boundary technician—
Dr. Transducer glides out of the blue
and into your pulse, come

to recalibrate your peaks and valleys.
Gloved in hiss, he unfolds the bolts
of your voltage, fiddles

your knobs and bones, bones
your spectral entrails—and deduces your output’s
plagued with fits of hysteretic

backlash. Whatever you utter
is noise shaped, a dizzy signal. The doctor’s
got the fix, and it’s a doozy:

he cleaves you to a graven
waveform erasure. He tunes you to a frequency
that lacks you out

then blows. The door swings
and bangs you shut, clouds pressed to the roof
of your mouth.

Copyright © 2019 by Joanie Mackowski. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.