Freezes, goes blue screen, shuts down. Dead pixel, dark.
Ghost echoes, lossy in the source code. Time zones away,
people who have actually shaken hands with my online friend
stand around a box of his remains. I'm left to click through data,
two-dimensional and without decay, in multiple windows.
Close all until I'm left by the one that renders birds, sky,
and keep-moving-nothing-to-see-here clouds. Nothing
to see here. I go for a walk to the edge of town, daydream
a closed-loop whirlwind in a field of tall grass.
Cast a rock into the dark old sea.
Raoul Fernandes, "AN ONLINE FRIEND DIES SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE THE INTERNET" from Transmitter and Receiver. Copyright © 2015 by Raoul Fernandes. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015)