The Stadium Effect

Isabel Prioleau

Researchers have developed a microscope powerful enough

to see data. Trace amounts have since been discovered

in the drinking water of midwestern cities, beached whales, space.

On live TV, scientists train their microscopes on the crisis, which dissolves

into static, then a fine lace of zeros and ones.

Pregnant women begin to dream long meaningless strings of numbers,

birthing a new generation of conspiracy theorists.

These children see themselves as trails of code, puppets

only visible in shadow. Their negatives play

on the nation’s great screen, flowing through networks

of streets and hallways, like waves

produced by dreaming brains. The weapons in their hands

are bytes: trails of light and shadow

casting distortions through the scene.

Isabel Prioleau is from Asheville, North Carolina, and is a student at Yale University. She was a finalist for the Adroit Prize for Poetry, won Yale's J. Edward Meeker Prize for Poetry, and has had poems published in The Adroit Journal.
Originally published:
March 13, 2024


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