In 2019 I could descend my porch steps
and hear three short utterances
like coughs, but mixed with ideas or words
from a homeless woman sitting there.
I could cross the street, wondering
about the time a cafe broke a promise to me:
the promise of a chocolate crossiant in exchange for $3.95,
and wondering if someday
my morals will compel me to do an act strange and praiseworthy.
I could bend my bare neck in the park and feel the sun's fire on it
and ogle the immobile couples on benches,
growing together like passionate mushrooms.
Aglow with the inner light of young professionals,
the silver glow of elven kings and queens.
I could stumble looking at my phone through a crowd of phones
and be happy because of the sunlit air and the bumblebees
dodging us like jet pilots. My heart is a dumb sponge.
This world has the best music. We are always connected.
I could listen to the boombox crunch
and remember how your stories about dating always unfolded,
with alienation and bafflement, as though relating
how you invited a squid, or a statue,
to dine at a restaurant with you each evening.
I thought that was kind of sexy.
I could immediately Google your name
and while doing so remember, again, that the part of me which matters
is a particular detailed churning of an electrical sea.
We live in an electrical sea.
In 2019 I was always connected, except when I was not,
except when my head shook in my hands, late at night, because of
the underleveraged parts of my heart. Shook from what I felt.
I longed to feel the hot breath of a bear on my heels.