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January 6, 2016 | Nonfiction

dying on the internet

Christina Montilla

dying on the internet photo

for us

somewhere on the internets, in a dusty archived sent folder and a long forgotten inbox is our turn to Genesis chapter two verse eight and in the garden of night of teenagedom we stripped off our clothes and marveled at the Renoir of our bodies, bathers in the moonlit suburbs our pubescent woman roundness of simple geometry figures dart like deer in the absence of light we drape ourselves across bronze statues, city hall steps, in the dew grass of park, showering our four square mile town with our bare bodies like throwing petals in our parents faces and our laughter sings on shivering notes nipples taut and blushing our regard focuses on the camera’s lens we pretend to know secrets pretend to understand a gaze with smirks i keep rowing back to that night beneath the harvest moon on mosquito island in the middle of Lake Ballinger watching from the marsh the four of us materialize beneath the streetlamp light and you, the bravest of us all, a comet’s tail crashes into the icy autumn water 

verse nine the cult of you in plaid and keychains breaks through doorways shouts across our high school’s cafeteria that you hope to go out in the most unusual way possible, the most impossible way possible what an Icarus complex what hubris you tell us you’re gonna be hit by a blimp blimp sounds sexy but it could’ve been any obscure object or archaic torture something memorable how about a 500 lb African lion i can still youtube a pixelated clip of the lion cub in ellen’s hands as she feeds it with a baby bottle for the entertainment of the daytime tv masses and hereafter your paths intertwined i can still youtube the national news broadcasts when that same lion was shot as it stood over a lifeless you the anchors snickered platitudes for the sound bite here’s where it all went wrong and millions would comment, debate, text, tag, emoji, post, re-post, tweet, trend, facebook, hashtag, huffington post, youtube, google the ethics of your death while we just tried to cope what a stupid bitch they type forever did they even know you your death 485 thousand google hits over and each time i click its not really you but it is you this is how you’d fall this was the fall this is how you fell splash

pray at times i still hear you urge us at times i still see your cream silhouette standing on a sun beaten cliff off of Deep Lake at times i still hear the word blimp i hear you tell me you’re gonna somersault backward off this ledge into the water i tell you not to my mind is a circle buffering then you leap, you do it there’s your crisp bellow into the cyan abyss below the circle buffers a moment later your fiery brow surfaces throwing a brilliant grin up at me “now your turn!” i hear your laugh you know i won’t do it, my mind circle refreshes you’re there my mind circle refreshes refresh refresh refresh and you’re not dead

image: Tara Wray


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