humanity was a passion project gone awry—
I just needed to distract myself after our breakup, Time said to Matter.
I can’t believe you’ve roped me into this, Matter said.
We paint our faces in dramatic clown smiles,
black greasepaint tears down our cheeks to meet Santa.
Lap sitting our presents for good and bad baby juggalettes.
On a zoom call, we get Nabokov and Kubrick on the line
but they can only stay and comment for a moment about
Before they go back to dead
in a Russian hospital with no windows,
and fluoridated water.
We keep talking, through mirrors,
a complex system
of medicine, machine cogs.
Single cell algae ocean,
days of the week turning over new invasive species.
Forest fires, trains cutting maps.
I ask about your law class.
You talk about your roommate, ask about my writing.
Each word inspiring the next
in a trance-like dissociation.
Why is my food growing clones
or my skin scraping off.
The white page is drawing anime girls,
I’ve fallen for an android,
and is that normal, or an STI (I’m asking for a friend).
Yours! an impatient Googler.
Mahaila Smith is a poet from Ottawa. She is currently completing her undergrad in archaeology at U of T. Her debut chapbook Claw Machine was released by Anstruther in 2020.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan.