the way technology has ruined me
i. i take a selfie.
and this is everything i am
condensed into pixels
on phone screen, a collage of me,
i turn my head so my piercings are more visible,
wear my hair down,
and open my mouth just enough to show
front teeth, beaver though they may be,
everything that i love.
i take a selfie and i create myself again,
something i can be proud of.
art when my hands are too tired
i take a selfie. i take
hundreds of selfies.
ii. i edit a selfie.
and this is everything i’m not sure i love
gone, or invisible but not gone—i do know
that my skin is not clear, but i am happy to pretend it is.
these are not lies. the most famous portraits
do not have acne or dark eye circles,
so why should i? when i can be this perfect moment
saved forever. brighten, add contrast, remove the
too-pink in my cheeks. blur just a little
so my hair isn’t frizzy.
i edit a selfie until i am exactly who i want to be.
iii. i post a selfie.
or two, or three, or six—
and this is not narcissism.
i post a selfie and friends from around the world
can see me. and i become real, to them, to strangers,
to myself—this is not narcissism,
this is me, reminding my friends that i love them
because i’m sending a smile all the way around the world,
to Germany, to Belgium, the Philippines, Australia,
Canada, Mexico, Norway, New York, California,
and back home. where i text my boyfriend a copy
because he has been at work for weeks it seems—
this is not narcissism. i post a selfie.
and i love myself.
lay me down over any beat you can find
give me background, give me sound to walk to
something to hum when all i hear is
whining and whistling and buzz
of panic through fingertips. lay me
down, give me beats, beatings, heartbeatings
change the way my blood flows. change
me all the way to blood flow—
this isn’t it. not the way my veins supposed to
move. not meant to be
this loud. pray please
pray, please, quiet down.
be gentle, be tapping, be anxious leg
shaking table, be thumb, back and forth, back and forth, gentle, caring,
be panic attack reprieve. too much.
is that the kind of breathing you need the footstep rush and hum and
panic in digits in triple digits in
BEAT ME || BEAT ME || BEAT ME
i can’t hear my heartbeat.