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notes the morning after lily rose depp was photographed in new york city with a hand on timothée chalamet

i ask my class whether a GPS or a speedometer

gives a more accurate representation of speed, do we

trust the hardware or the software, the wheels beneath us

or the sky who watches, they laugh at me— but i mean it

when i ask them if their avatar is the real them. who do we become

when our identities get in the way of being human?

who am i when i go from sweater & silver jewelry

instructor of eighteen-year-old’s first class in college to long-sleeved

slinky black dress pouring amarone by the bottle, no drop

dripped on white table cloths with man who spits that

he told me he hates al dente to split knuckles on t-shirt shelves

in the warehouse hefting boxes of hardcore shirts, who am i

if my students find my instagram? if they come

into my restaurant, sit at my table?

it’s irrelevant anywhere but here: i don’t know

how to have five selves inside of me, i only trust

the thing distributing information from the sky,

i expect to be misunderstood consistently.

how am i at once standing fully upright

but also a city of collapsed spine on Tuesday?

how could anyone think to understand the curl of a hand

around a hip or how ghostlike our forms become

the instant another shifts their eyes to us?

is video proof that we live? are pictures?

or are our bodies rivers & who cares if we gag the mouth

because the poems will still arrange themselves? what gets stuck

between the cuff of a suit & the slip of the fingers?


Aly Pierce sits facing away from her desk in a wooden chair. She is wearing a blue and white tie-dye hoodie and her chin is in her hand. Her book shelf, several plants, and a tea-dyed string of phases of the moon can be seen in the background.

Aly Pierce is originally from Doylestown, PA and currently lives in Beverly, MA. Her debut collection of poems The Visible Planets (Game Over Books) and split chapbook with Cassandra de Alba, Cryptids (Ginger Bug Press), both came out in 2020. Most recently, she has been published in the Red Ogre Review and Peach Mag. You can find her online as @instantweekend.