My Laptop Malfunctions on Thanksgiving

The machine shut down after clicks and pops– the screen
flickered bright then dimmed into near-zero

visibility. You said our love had become that,
crying into the dark on my chest. I couldn’t feel the tears,

but we feasted this Thanksgiving on the blood of birds
and the kindness of vegetables, this ritual of melancholy

holidays at my mother’s home, the knife pushing
deeper and deeper into the flesh of tradition, and you

said that’s not what you wanted to become, some reliable
device upon which to take for granted, and I apologized,

I didn’t know why you were crying and I wasn’t, so you
turned the lights on and laugh-cried until we fell asleep

 

(originally published in SHARK REEF, Winter 2020)

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