More Trucks

By the underpass off a busy motorway, the bodies arrived in removal trucks and loudspeakers crackled with instruction. I couldn’t see any other workers, but I could see the fruits of their labour. The air smelled of exhaust and something else my nose didn’t want to process, so I began to breathe through my mouth, coating my tongue with a viscous residue that tasted of old barbecues and over-ripe pulpy mango. There were so many teeth and my fingers grew tired from the strain of ripping the rotting corpses apart to the shouted specifications that grew more urgent and exacting by the minute. More trucks. The conveyor belt moved faster and the voice increased in volume over the loudspeakers, chummy laced with a grit of menace. I didn’t know what to feel but I felt it anyway. It seemed to last forever, but somewhere in there I thought “At least I have a job.”


From the oral history, we know vision was a luxury in those days. 

Though we laugh to think of a generation feeling their way around our world in the dark.

Though we take our sight for granted now, as we take for granted the sun, the air, the bounty of nature.

It was different for those who went before.


When man relied upon the Machine. 

When man built up layers of resistance to discomfort until they solidified around him like granite, making of him a thing apart.

When man was more connected to the Machine than to humanity.


The Machine needed to be fed, yes, as we feed ourselves, our children, our animals. 

The Machine ate and ate the rich produce of the earth. 

The Machine gobbled and guzzled and gorged, until a time when man was so dependent on the Machine he couldn’t imagine life without it.


Then, the earth would give no more to the Machine. 

No oil, no gas. No coal except the eyes of man. 

In the early days, there were some so desperate they fed one or both eyes to the Machine. 


The price went up and up and up. 

There were no limits to what some men would do to others to keep the Machine happy. 

Eye patches told more about a man than the labour of his hands. 


The price went up and up and up. 

Came the gangs, grew the gangs. The gangs became the power. 

The power made new rules to favour the Machine over man. 


We can barely imagine it now, but even newborns were harvested for their eyes, yes, more valuable than their lives. 

No matter the atrocity, there was never enough to feed the Machine. 

Until one day, the Machine starved to death, and our forefathers cried diamond tears.