SAINT JULIAN PRESS
Cynthia Atkins ~ Poet
When The Internet Is The Loneliest Place
On The Planet
Blow by blow, we gave up scents and sunsets
to hold our heads in a screen and gawk
in our sleep—My blind leading your blind
to where the last light is driven
to be warehoused. I learned to whisper
over graves to measure the heft
of my breath next to the soul that lay
in that soil, devoid of breath. When push
comes to shove—When enough is more
than enough. When your face
sees itself snatched by the swarm
of names—Pell-mell. I’m just parched
for a whiff of clean laundry, a bed made
from the cheapest smoky scents
of its last spent residents—Clinging to
pastures where the lovesick stargazers go.
Yesterday, I mourned a friend
whom I’ve never laid eyes on.
Never heard the bricks in her voice,
or saw her mouth, a gaudy brothel
of accents, straight out of the Bronx,
by way of Chicago—My birth town,
I was born to know that train whistles
record the distance of our loneliness.
I drifted to sleep smelling
the pepper spray my parents
shot at each other in the front seat.
It was my own garden on the highway,
under the Magikist Sign where
I could cry all night long in the damp
arms of strangers—Each car holding
that piece of self that looks for others.
Popping out of a hole, like a fox
forcing you to see your breath,
flick the light switch into the dark
classroom in the planetarium of stars.