Winter – taking inventory of myself
by taking inventory of everyone else’s internet
life. In a minute you’re engaged and wedding-
dressed and home-owning and dog-shopping.
Your face is facing away from the camera during
the first dance. Your friends are all
in orange. I’d assumed they’d all be blonde too.
I keep clicking and unclicking through the grime.
At my computer, now looking at myself
grinning in my old Pontiac, belligerent at a baseball game
and in dark bars and choking up over an old
Portland sunset. I’m lost in an airport in Nebraska,
studying in a coffee shop, hammered
at the horse track, coming undone at Standees
24 hour diner. Seething right now
at my desk and in the past seven years
of photos. There’s me sweating my balls
at an electronic slot machine in the back
of the Twilight Room in North Portland,
trying to forget the way you’d
let me piss in the trees when
we were drunk late and talking on the bluff
above the river, not cheating
on our girl/boyfriends, terrified
of the new type of love we’d discovered.
But right now you’re smiling in Brussels
and San Diego and Dayton, holding Joe
next to a waterfall and on the beach
and I’m seething at my laptop
and in all my pictures, talking myself
out of messages and likes and comments,
suckling on emotional up and down until
I find the two of us among a group of friends,
four years ago, sweaty from hiking Forest Park,
your eyes looking across the picture
at me then, telling me now
to get out of my chair, to get closer,
to close the window and shut down.