DEAR FACEBOOK by Elya Braden

Today, you have no loves for me, only urgent bells chiming for every other poet, my shy tribe of braggadocios. Their billboards tower my cities, their airplanes skywrite marry me to girls filleting their secret thighs, to boys riding boys across Montana’s Badlands, to mouths speaking forked tongues while my tongue flowers its one-pony trick. How you column us, bomb shelter us, pad our walls, Happy Birthday our gifs on endless loop, skipped needle scratching sunset after sunset, chant Ivermectin, Ivermectin, stop the lie, stop the lie. You gun the butterfly hunters, swoon their fire with flashes of rabid rapists crossing invisible borders in Ohio and West Virginia. My body, my choice! now warriors a virus, not a uterus. My suitcase waits by the door, restraining order ready to file. But, my friends, my friends, my friends…You dopamine me, serotonin me, Xanax me, sweet nothing me with your lack of expectations, your absence of failures. Everyone an A or no one. Care if I return? You don’t. Always, another user sharing your needle. Your high, gateway drug to Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok. You, even you, aging into so five minutes ago.

Elya Braden, 60, lives in Oxnard, CA. She a writer/mixed-media artist and is Assistant Editor of Gyroscope Review.

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