• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 04

Send, Sending, Sent

Red, purple, < + 3 floating into frame,
clipped messages shout in full caps
GIFs from 1950s TV no one watches,
words, tones, emotions collapsed
into rows of circles, dots, hyphens
upside-down, shift 9 or 0, parenthesis—
as explicit as traffic signs—somehow
in our preschool mind, we recognize
the pictographs as universal being
human or humanoid, everyone’s alter ego,
choose from a catalogue of emotions
to preface or close content
even when said content is an impulse
poorly chosen and barely meant.

Someone else’s jokes ctrl-copied
then pasted in flattened fingertip haste
like an elbow nudged between ribs—
just a tag, you’re it, to draw you in.

You reply, therefore I am.

The thread becomes a chain of burps
farts and giggles to keep the contact
light, like a breathy whisper at the ear,
a soft brush on the inside of the wrist
where we once dabbed cologne or scents
to be noticed.


Send, Sending, Sent

And the pulse and ding goes and comes,
a staccato mockery of conversation,
a cartoon parade of dogs, cats, pigs
in bow ties or tutus, icons of cuteness
for a world where talk is cheap
and thought an electrical storm.

We emoji the world into a coma.