Online and Off

for W.R.

I keep finding you as a friend of friends,
or in the spuriously precise terms of LinkedIn,
a 2nd degree connection. You’ve added
various certifications and jobs at companies
which weren’t even around in the days
we worked around a so-called platonic attraction.
The ways we fit together broke down under the strain.

Much of this wasn’t true.
What’s true was: a lemon-scented shampoo smell in a lobby;
the then-stylish bob from which you’ve moved,
on a fit, sun-damaged woman in a tennis dress;
the sound of a certain cultured accent;
a taste for Shiraz I still have,
and tell myself has nothing to do with you.

This frictionless conservation of momentum
this communication event horizon –
I could send this message to you right now
and there’d be only one reason
you wouldn’t answer.

I deleted another version of this which I published on my blog, so comments may refer to that other one. A few years later, I just like this one better.

9 thoughts on “Online and Off

Add yours

  1. I often think it is better to leave a poem as it is and, instead of revising it, write a whole new poem that relies on intertextuality with the first. That might lead you to a lot of obsessive work and self-referencing, but on the other hand it might also lead you to a themed corpus full of ingenuity.


  2. wow nice….the second stanza is a great rememberance…full of texture…intereting running into these people online that we once were connected too and now not…

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