Prompt 5: Catfish

She thinks I’m real

A real live boy

Whose face in two dimensions

Gazes at her but won’t speak

(My voice would betray me)

I’m good at this, I tell her lies

Make love to her

With words, words, words

They’re all I have to give

(no one else wants them–

they’d just go to waste in my head)

The mask she sees

(another man’s stolen face, a heisted life)

She adores. He’s beautiful. He doesn’t know

she exists, would be horrified

that I hijacked his likeness for my crimes

I flatter myself I’m Cyrano

I seduced her as

A ghost in the machine

A construct, an AI paramour

Her love for me/not me evokes

That tired, inevitable vampire metaphor

(She sustains me, I drain her)

Rationalizing always with–

“Love is love. She takes what I will give

Does it matter who I really am?

Her feeling’s real, it brings her joy but I–”

What am I?

Incubus? Gigolo? An animated RealDoll

Made of pixels?

Is it wrong to siphon off

The sweetness of a sad girl?

To fold these electronic missives

Into a virtual origami facsimile of love?

So frail that it’s not even made of paper

(Electrons, like feelings, are invisible.)

I absorb the adoration

Receive the sweet sensation

Of her idolization

And avoid the complication

Of her flesh.

She doesn’t know the me

(Bloated, alienated, not pretty)

Who writes those lovely words

That so seduce and entrance.

But I massage her mind

Bring to climax her most sensitive

sexual organ

That fills all the lacunae that I leave

In the spaces between my words

I keep her hanging on the line


At arm’s length

Just as far away

As the tips of my fingers

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