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why i no longer skype

Skype is on your Mac on the table

next to the Malbec and ashtray,

next to the book that cost 120 pesos,

b/c you had to have Ulysses

in English. You’re in some town

where your name doesn’t exist

and they rename you, so you’re

never sure who they’re talking to.

The screen rings. It’s Big Logos.

He downloaded the thing. First

a garbled voice comes from

the keys then, “Can you hear me?”

By the power of gods in Estonia,

makers of software, haters of fees,

the voice says your name and he’s

not anyone, though anyone from

Terre Haute to Rome can Skype you,

he’s someone you know or knew.

Which tense to use? Then his face

appears by the folders, the clock,

the Firefox, his face on his body

in his bed 8,000 miles away

and he says, “Give me a hug.”

You both grab hold of your machines.

You show your eyeballs to each other,

all impressed with yourselves,

as if your eyeballs have not always

been on your head. “Good to see you,”

he says. “Can you look in my eyes?”

You try but you’re always looking off.

It’s sad but it feels good like you love

reading Ulysses and you love being

alone near the Martial Mountains.

He plays a cover of Bruce Springsteen

by Lucero, and what a rad band.

This is the life. This is your friend,

your friend from way back, though

let’s be honest, he was more

than that, and not to trouble you

with facts, he’s still more than that.

You’re so hot for technology.

This is better than IM. You can’t

get enough of his pixels and it must,

please tell me, it must add up,

all those hours spent listening

to Lucero, who is okay but,

let’s face it, not Springsteen,

and all those hours spent watching

Hulu together and now look at you,

staring at your screen, which is

not ringing, which will not ring.

It has always been just a screen.

You can’t blame it for that.

from The Book of GoodbyesFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2013
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Jillian Weise Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.