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by Avra Margariti


(First published in Illumen)


In our collective online headspace


first there was a sprout


then the growing pains of love;


the forums stretching and shooting up


like weeds, DMs acquiring stretchmarks


as they contorted into group chats to fit all:


Cassandra and Ivy and Amir and I.




I sent them pixelated roses,


asked them to imagine the thorned stem


between my teeth. The goosebumps


spreading down the body


whose code I wished I could rewrite,


rearrange, like this flesh of mine was mere


foam.




Cassandra liked to cast amorous spells.


Her ingredients megabytes, artistic nudes,


dashes of pink pepper and red lipstick.


Ivy, true to her name, clung


to the group chat at all hours with tendrils


of cursive, colorful fonts, love


songs and late-night ramblings.




Amir messaged us one day to say


they’d found the secret to solve all


our long distance problems:


A hack; a cheatcode; a drug; a revelation


that would allow us to feel each other


from across the globe


uploading our consciousness to the net


acquiring temporary bodies of binary code.




Into the spiderwebs we four fell


going deeper, cicadas in the soil;


going darker, and suddenly we learned


what bats feel like hearing shapes,


what plants feel like devouring sunlight.




I stared wondering, would we ever stop falling


deep and dark enough to forget our way back


through these complex canals?


Did we even want to stop?




Now, digital domestic [ignorance is] bliss.


Now, we all float exultant in our freefall;


Cassandra and Ivy and Amir and I.

Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Rhysling-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Vastarien, Asimov’s, Liminality, Arsenika, The Future Fire, Space and Time, Eye to the Telescope, and Glittership. The Saint of Witches, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is available from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on Twitter @avramargariti.

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