Copyright is held by the author.

My fingers
The paper.
The machine looks on.
Is it coming closer?
My hand trembles;
The paper trembles,
Begins to slip.
Just the tip
We all know how that goes;
We all know
That desire is not satisfied
With moderation.
And I must ask:
If we moderate
These papers,
Who is receiving
The pleasure?
The answer
Between the teeth,
Of the paper shredder.
The gears whirl,
I gulp.
Paper grinds to pulp,
Victim of the corporate
Meat grinder —
The chopping block,
Where anything
That doesn’t make the cut,
Gets cut.
There is something wrong
With primal instincts
Turned machine.
A throat clears,
Against the threat of tears.
“Are you done?”
My colleague asks.
“Just a minute.”
The paper shredder
Is off,
I take a moment of silence
To mourn
A wasted loss.


Image of Artemis

Artemis (she/they/he) is a high school student pursuing writing. Their favorite types of writing are short stories and poetry, and their favorite elements of writing are clever word plays and irony. When they’re not writing, they spend their days creating resin dolls and sewing clothes. To learn more about Artemis, you can visit their website at https://sites.google.com/view/artemis-writing-portfolio/home. You can also reach them at artemiswriting1@gmail.com to inquire about their work, propose a collaboration, etc..

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