• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 04

Texting’s Not Touching

In lockdown again, I’m alone, and I’m texting you —
Though, as you know, I hate texting, and I’d prefer to be touching you skin
To skin, but instead I’m touching my phone, texting you.

You text me that texting is a way to stay in touch:
That texting is black and white, that words are easy to understand,
And not mis-interpretable —
but, I text back, colour is an illusion, and nothing is as binary as the opposition of black
And white sounds. Then, as I put my phone down for a moment, I see
My fingers brown against the darkness of the screen, and I pick it up again,
Wanting something beyond that darkness: to touch the light; to touch you.

I miss touch:
I miss the easy going times, bookended with the touch of friends’ hugs,
And kisses on both cheeks — and most of all I miss
That almost touch of proximity, being in the same space as you
When we can reach out and
Touch at any moment, hold hands, kiss, lie side-by-side and make love
Without words, talking with our bodies.

We talk of texts — books; literature —
But now text mostly means words generated by technology,
Letters and numbers and emojis that make me feel like a defective robot, not a woman.

When I turn my phone off for yoga, in a weird way I am furthest away from texting —
And simultaneously the closest I can be with you when we’re apart.


Texting’s Not Touching

It’s like this: when I focus on my breathing, my body in the motion and the pose,
Then held between breaths, I feel the strength of my body in the Warrior position,
Between man and woman, I am just being;
Next I move into the Dance of Lord Shiva, and I’m once again in India, in a temple,
Head held high, and arms and legs at right angles: I am the timeless statue of power;
And finally, just breathing and body, I salute to the sun,
Feeling the warmth of the sun’s rays inside of me.

Afterwards, at peace, despite lockdown London, I try to send you a telepathic message, Staying in the space of hope — in between binaries —
Where touch is tangible even when we’re separated by physical distance:
Telepathic texting, yes, trying tentatively to keep touching,
Remembering your touch, time feels infinite again in my heart’s beating.
That breathing in and out: what life is; what a life force we share.