By Patrick Moorman
I was eating cereal in front of a computer screen and
it felt like the most normal thing.
The spoon gently dangled from my hand between my scoops.
I didn’t notice this. I was staring.
I played a colorful video, bright like nostalgia.
It was jagged and rigid but so alive.
I felt a family there, in the colors.
They winked and sighed and burst forth.
They came to me like a blur.
Their speed is like a current.
It doesn’t pull, I chase.
My heart feels it near;
Thump, thump, thump.
So many people with mouths open and eyes slouching.
We sit together in a circle,
crossed legs, gaping at digits;
“Thump, thump, thump.”
We sigh and these wonderful, colorful strings
pull up smooth smiles, sitting in the center, yelling,
“Thump, thump, thump!”
So many brains stems floating in jars
with wires sticking out, slotted into a USB.
We talk like this is not a beautiful thing
but I find peace in the screen.
Another world that I call home.
It stays under my feet.
It’s like a red carpet covered with Cheeto dust and sweat and shame.
Sometimes it pierces my eyes and lifts up my hood
but it never patches me up or gives a free oil change.
The DSM-5 worries for me.
Like a text from my mother at 3AM, it says
“Please, dear god,
get to sleep.”
But how do I sleep when
this screen is my dreams?