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 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.