The Sims: 2003
I learned how to scramble eggs
on a sleepover morning: turn the dial on the stove
until fire clicks up into a pan
and a solid pat of butter sweats apart.
Cradle one hand around an egg and crack it,
break the yolk, new ritual of hands
and arms and heat.
The night before, Ashley showed me how
to build a house and make women to live in it,
big eyes and lips and hair we wanted for ourselves.
Type rosebud;!;!;! for infinite money.
Click on their heads and make them do
anything, almost: take a shower, fight
their neighbors, talk and flirt and kiss. Or
make them swim and take away the ladder.
Line the kitchen with a dozen stoves.
Delete the doors. Wait until they scramble eggs
and start a fire accidentally, each square of flame
eating the table, a chair, a potted plant to ash.
Watch yourselves run in circles,
bend your pixeled joints around,
cry and pray because there’s no escape,
no way to put it out.
Facebook Stalking My High School Best Friend
I like you better in the computer,
your face years and a thousand miles gone
and fatter, too, in a way that isn’t bad or good
but changed, unlike the way your sight line
still slides past the eye of the camera,
like there’s something great happening
behind the photo that only you can see.
In the laptop’s heated hum on my legs,
the swift friction of my finger on the trackpad,
you don’t even know I’m here. No way
for you to grin and make gestures
from across the classroom—middle finger emerging
above a textbook, or your tongue waving, obscene,
between your two fingers—
and no way for lunch to get canceled again,
to see over a crowded room and not say hi.
Here you are at your boyfriend’s place.
It’s nice. He’s in law school.
Here’s a mini-burger in a bar in a city
I’ve never been.
Here we are like we used to be,
my thinking of you, your eyes
slipping, never quite on me.