In 1950 I toured a lace factory
rebuilt from the rubble of Bruges.
In hushed Vermeer-light
heads were bowed and bodies fixed,
freeing fingers for the rosary of lace,
that frozen prayer to grace a bridal gown
or christening dress.
Three decades later I walk through a plant in Santa Clara;
row upon row of women sloughing at microscopes
repeat new rituals; fusing microcircuits
into silicon, merging etches into filigree.
I ask a worker what she makes.
She glances up, rubs her eyes,
then stares blankly at the chip:
I’m not sure.
They call them “memories.”