This Is Not What LAIN Dreamed Of

you were supposed to link us together
with a web of hopeful light
spidersilk skeins of fibre-optics
thoughtfire fizzing from end to end
more alive than love infinite
as vicious and vital as our collected heartbeats

what we got instead
were cheap cables gnawed by rats
whipsnake vicious, cutting into the parchment of our real flesh
going for a price outrageous
a marathon I can no longer run,
not in good conscience
(also going for a price --
           paying it like choking on another person's rising bile)